Vladimir Putin's spokesman says one way Donald Trump could help build confidence with Russia after he becomes president would be to persuade NATO to slow down its expansion or withdraw its forces from Russia's borders.
Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with The Associated Press that this "would lead to a kind of detente in Europe."
But unfortunately, he said, Russia now sees "NATO's muscles ... getting bigger and bigger and closer and closer to Russian borders."
At a NATO summit in July, the Western alliance said it is building up positions in Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in response to what it sees as escalating tensions with Russia. The United States is sending 1,000 troops to Poland next year.
Yeah gee, I bet we could repair relationships with all kinds of countries if we just let them do whatever they wanted to whomever they wanted.
For instance I bet North Korea would be our bosom buddy if we just let them invade South Korea.
And I bet Iran would totally invite us to their birthday party if we let them go ahead and build nuclear weapons.
Of course the really troubling part of this is that Trump might actually not care about any of those scenarios.
In fact he is already pretty much on board with this whole NATO thing:
Trump has praised Putin as a strong leader and suggested that the U.S. could abandon its NATO commitments, which include mutual defense in case of attack.
The president-elect says NATO was created to confront a threat — the Soviet Union — that no longer exists and has called the alliance "obsolete" and a bad deal for America. He argues that the U.S. gets too little out of decades-old security partnerships like NATO, which is anchored in Europe but traditionally led by the United States.
In another interview that same Putin spokesman said this:
The Kremlin said on Thursday U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's foreign policy approach was "phenomenally close" to that of President Vladimir Putin, giving Russia hope that tattered U.S.-Russia relations could gradually be improved.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking in New York, said he saw incredible similarities between the two men's foreign policy ideas, and this meant there was a solid basis to start a meaningful dialogue between Moscow and Washington.
So the Russians see our new president's foreign policy approach as "phenomenally close" to that of a former Soviet KGB agent who seems hell bent on world domination.
And we wondered why Putin worked so hard to get this guy elected.