Although President-elect Donald Trump vehemently denies accusations of him being too close for comfort with Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov admits the Kremlin and the Trump campaign were indeed communicating with each other.
“There were contacts,” Ryabkov says to Interfax. “We are doing this and have been doing this during the election campaign.” He added that the Kremlin was frequently communicating with some key allies of Trump:
Obviously, we know most of the people from his (Trump’s) entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions. I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.
Because Trump won the elections — not only surprising himself but his Russian friends as well — Moscow is now beginning to consider how it can set up official lines of communication.
Obviously, none of this means that Russia helped Trump win by, say, hacking voting computers or launching an anti-Hillary propaganda campaign. Having said that, it certainly is becoming clear that Trump’s ties to Moscow are too close for comfort. Russia and the United States are geopolitical enemies. During the presidential campaign of 2012, then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney correctly accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being an autocrat who was wreaking havoc, not only in the Middle East but also — and perhaps especially — in Eastern Europe, where he’s systematically bullying and intimidating smaller countries like Georgia and the Ukraine.
Trump’s friendly overtures towards Putin have rightfully been criticized by Democrats and by Republicans. Putin’s Russia is most definitely not a force for good in the world. At this very moment, the Russian air force is literally wiping out entire cities (and their inhabitants) in Syria, committing one crime against humanity after another as it goes about its business. At the same time, Russia continues to bully Eastern European countries into submission. Frankly, that’s not the kind of country the American government should want to have a close relationship with.