Analysis: In One December Week, Trump Gave Putin Three Impressive Victories

Meeting of President Putin and President Trump in Helsinki, 2018kremlin.ru / CC-BY-4.0 / President of the Russian Federation
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Trump's actions have harmed the international standing of the US but empowered dictators from Tehran to Moscow.

In one tragic December week, President Trump made significant decisions that benefitted the long term strategic aims of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s rash decisions on national security to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan have harmed the nation’s relationship with allies and prompted praise from Moscow. Putin has remained strong in his assertion that the presence of US troops in Syria is and was illegitimate.

"If the U.S. decided to withdraw its contingent, it has done the right thing," Putin said.

Putin scored another victory whenTrump announced a lift of sanctions on companies such as EN+, Rusal and EuroSibEnergo.

These companies were first sanctioned by the US Treasury due to their ownership by Oleg Deripaska. However, the Wall Street Journal stated that the decision requires that the companies to sever ties with the oligarch.

Nonetheless, the decisions coming out of the White House are proving to ultimately benefit the policy goals of Putin, with this week being an overall victory for Moscow.

“The Kremlin is of two minds when it comes to Trump: It hates the unpredictability and lack of coordination coming out of this White House but totally loves the chaos Trump is unleashing,” said Andrew Weiss, a Russia scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Anything that damages America’s alliances and image of a steadfast, reliable partner is a net win for Moscow.”

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