Friday, December 29, 2017

US-Russia relations expected to remain at low point

US-Russia relations
US-Russia relations remain at a low point near the year's end, and the chill is not expected to thaw in 2018, US experts said.

"US relations with Russia are at a low point," Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua.

Washington's relationship with Moscow has been sour for some time, amid disagreements involving the war in Syria, the conflict in Ukraine and the Kremlin's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections, among others.

"Many Americans mistrust (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and feel he interfered with the 2016 election in favor of (US President Donald) Trump," West said.

"They do not like his...efforts to expand Russian influence over Eastern Europe. Most still oppose his annexation of Crimea. All of that makes it difficult to normalize relations and treat Russia as friendly power," the expert added.

"Trump hoped to elicit Russia's help on the fight against terrorism. But Putin, in Washington's eyes, has done little to aid that effort and has expanded his country's role in Syria," West said, speaking of the conflict in Syria.

While the Islamic State (IS) radicals have been on the run in the Middle East after a multinational bombing and military efforts, IS-inspired or affiliated attacks have occurred in recent months in Europe, showing no sign of slowing.

"It doesn't look like 2018 will be any different, as Putin has little incentive to help Trump since the latter has not reduced Russian sanctions," West said, referring to Washington's ongoing sanctions against Moscow.

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