RIGA - U.S. President Donald Trump doesn't have much chance to improve relations with Russia led by President Vladimir Putin, Latvian MEP and former defense and foreign minister Artis Pabriks said in an interview with LETA.
Pabriks said that no one in Europe or the U.S. wanted poor relations with Russia and the Trump administration, like all administrations before him, would seek to improve the relations but there was not much hope of success.
Despite the claims by analysts that Trump's election was Russia's plan, Pabriks is inclined to doubt this because, whatever the election outcome, Russia wanted the U.S. divided and had clearly succeeded. Moreover, in the long term Trump might be more dangerous for Russia than Hillary Clinton, he said.
"Trump is an alpha male, and so is Russian President Vladimir Putin. Two bears like these cannot live in the same cage. It is obvious that, of the two, Putin is the weakest because Russia's economic and military power is much inferior to that of the U.S.," the Latvian MEP said.
He voiced hope that the Russian elite had some common sense and realized that tension in relations with the West could not be aggravated endlessly.
"If there indeed occurred an actual armed conflict between the West and Russia, there will be two outcomes. Firstly, the world will in fact come to an end. Secondly, Putin's regime will come to an end," Pabriks said.
"I think Trump will try to improve relations with Russia but I do not see much chance of his success because Trump and the West are cornered. Trump cannot sell Ukraine because of strong pressure from Republican and Democrat Congressmen. For now there is no reason to speak about sanctions against Russia being lifted. There has not been any progress on Russia's part regarding Crimea or Donbas," the Latvian MEP said.
He said he was certain of the U.S. support to Baltic security but the Baltic states had to keep their end of the deal, namely, to elect stable governments and to continue developing their defense capacities.