German Chancellor Merkel makes clear through her spokesman that she opposes the anti-Russian sanctions bill passed by the US Senate, which threatens Germany’s vital economic interests.
Russian President Putin takes a potentially important step in the Ukrainian conflict by recognising the documents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics whilst US President Trump stands in Washington and appeals over the heads of the US media directly to the American people.
Russia’s recognition of documents issued to their citizens by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics stops well short of diplomatic recognition, but as well as having humanitarian considerations it appears intended as a warning to Merkel and the Europeans to take the settlement process of the Ukrainian conflict more seriously.
In telephone conversation US President Trump fails to give strong support to Ukrainian President Poroshenko, as other US officials also signal desire by US to put Ukraine crisis behind it in order to focus on detente with Russia and war against Jihadi terrorism and ISIS.
Francois Fillon – the likely candidate for the French Presidency of France’s centre right – is a harsh critic of France’s regime change policy in Syria, a supporter of engagement with Russia, and an opponent of the EU’s sanctions policy. He is also believed to be Russian President Putin’s personal friend.
Though Donald Trump has said many positive things about seeking better relations with Russia, the ability of any US President to change the direction of US foreign policy is open to doubt, especially as the opponents within the US of a rapprochement with Russia are strong and many.
The conflicts in Ukraine and Syria are both the results of Western destabilisation of the legitimate governments of those countries.