The American establishment is not the only government struggling with President Trump. So is that of the US’ closest ally, Great Britain.
According to a report from RT, the London government is alarmed by the prospect of a “peace deal” that might be negotiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the American president.
After the time and date of the meeting – that is, Helsinki, Finland on June 16 – was set this week, the Times laid out a piece conveying the fears of unnamed cabinet ministers that a “peace deal” will undermine NATO and compromise European security.
Ideas of “what can go wrong” ranged from the cancelation or downsizing of NATO drills in Eastern Europe to acknowledging Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions against Moscow. One minister even predicted “further provocation by Moscow.”
“The UK has been one of the most active supporters of a hard line towards Russia,” and the “vigorous resistance” of its ruling circles to any positive shift in the stance of Washington towards Moscow shouldn’t be surprising, Alexander Bartosh, a military expert and former Russian diplomat, told RT.
“The UK, which quit the European Union, feels a certain loss of its weight in Europe and tries to turn Russia into a kind of boogeyman, seeing the ‘Russian threat’ as a unifying factor for nations, looking for closer ties with London,” he said.
Brexit and the resultant isolation of the UK from the greater body of the EU here may be perceived as a negative consequence of London’s recent move.
British historian and author on international affairs John Laughland believes that “in the context of Brexit, Britain wants to talk up the Russian threat in order to be able to sell British military expertise, military capacity, and intelligence gathering expertise to the Europeans.
“The British are afraid [because] if the Russian threat is perceived to disappear they lose their market.”
The Times also elicited fears that Present Trump may make a deal with Poland to establish a permanent US base in that country. Such a move would bypass NATO, and is although thought that it would help Poland become seen as the prime ally of the United States in the region. This would replace the UK and diminish its importance.
The government of the United Kingdom has been embroiled in quite controversy this year. In spring, former USSR spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by an agent claimed to be a Novichok nerve agent. The British Parliament fingered the Russian government, most specifically President Vladimir Putin as the instigator of this, without any substantiating evidence to prove this was so.
This resulted in a significant diplomatic row with the Russian Federation and a large-scale expulsion of diplomats, as well as the closure of the last remaining office in Russia of the British Council, held for many years to the the clearinghouse for resources such as English language training and other related services.
Speculation about the possible outcomes of the summit include the notion that Russia and the United States would be able to unify their approach to many significant matters affecting each nation’s security, and because of both nations’ importance as great powers, the security of the world as a whole.
While such news may be good for the world, it is seen as bad news for NATO, which has recently relied on the perceived threat of a strengthening Russian Federation to justify itself. If that disappears, then NATO is faced with an increasing array of questions, and President Trump has already gone on record as being quite critical of the alliance, noting especially how the US pays a disproportionate amount of money to keep the alliance running.
Finally, the matter of sanctions is likely to be challenged:
It’s also “possible” that during their meeting, Putin and Trump will be able to “find the formulae to overcome the current situation” in relations between the West and Moscow,” Laughland said. The US sanctions can be lifted and the EU may follow suit shortly afterwards as “the European sanctions are coming under heavy questioning from Italy, Austria, Hungary, and other countries.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.