As President-elect Trump faces wild allegations about his Russia connections, President Obama at one time acted friendly toward the Kremlin as well.
As wild allegations regarding President-elect Donald Trump and his Russia connections continue to fly, many Americans and members of the mainstream media seem to have forgotten how many pro-Russia stances President Barack Obama took during the 2008 election and his first few years in office. Trump has expressed a desire for warmer relations with Moscow, but in the beginning of his administration, Obama took active steps to appease the Kremlin.
Here are Obama’s top 3 most pro-Russia moves from his presidency:
1.When Russia invaded and occupied the Caucasian post-Soviet republic of Georgia, Obama called on both Georgia and Russia to “show restraint,” a peculiar statement given that only Russian tanks were violating another country’s soil. At first, Obama would not even identify who was at fault in the conflict. “I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict,” his statement read.
To be fair, Obama eventually delivered harsher remarks toward Russia’s invasion, but his failure to quickly denounce a clear violation of international norms spoke volumes.
2. In the first year of his administration, Obama discarded a Bush-planned European missile defense system, a program about which Russia had voiced strong opposition. According to The New York Times, two months into his term, Obama was communicating secretly with then-President of Russia (and Putin puppet) Dmitry Medvedev, promising to abandon the missile shield, if Russia would help the United States with Iran.
Obama’s initial plan to cede ground in Europe to Russia in order to enlist their help in other regions sounds strikingly similar to President-elect Trump’s strategy toward Russia. While he has been unwilling to criticize Russian military activity in Ukraine and the invasion of Crimea, Trump has expressed hope that the United States and Russia can join forces in fighting ISIS.
3. Of course there’s also the time Obama told Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” to concede ground to Russia after he won re-election in 2012. Per Reuters:
As he was leaning toward Medvedev in Seoul, Obama was overheard asking for time – “particularly with missile defense” – until he is in a better position politically to resolve such issues.
“I understand your message about space,” replied Medvedev, who will hand over the presidency to Putin in May.
“This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.
“I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” said Medvedev, Putin’s protégé and long considered number two in Moscow’s power structure.
Obama communicated to the leader of a foreign power that he would fake tough stances against that power to appease the American electorate, but he would deal to his heart’s content with Russia when he no longer had to worry about Americans voting him out.
However, when Trump openly and honestly advocates for warmer relations with Russia during the presidential election, mainstream commentators suggest that he may be an agent of the Kremlin.
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