Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny arrested Kirill Kudryavtsev/Getty Images

Trump’s Bigger Russia Problem

Donald Trump’s stated desire to improve US relations with Russia is understandable; indeed, it is a goal shared by the last several US administrations. But betraying core American values for the sake of short-term gains is not worth the bargain.

WASHINGTON, DC – Shortly before taking office, US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to outline his vision for his country’s relationship with Russia. “Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” he declared in one tweet. “When I am President,” he proclaimed in another, Russia and the US “will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!”

Of course, Trump is not wrong to try to improve relations with Russia. (The last several US presidents all sought the same goal.) But he must recognize that achieving that objective is not worth selling Russia’s pro-democratic activists down the river.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has effectively eliminated popular dissent in Russia. In 2012, soon after Putin’s return to the presidency, the Duma enacted the so-called foreign agent law, which focused on silencing organizations that receive funding from abroad and engage in anything that can be labeled “political activity.”

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To continue reading, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.


By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.

Log in;

Handpicked to read next

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.