Much was made during the presidential campaign of the mutual admiration between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin --- and Russia's apparent clandestine efforts to help him out. Now Putin has said Trump's triumph will open a new era in U.S.-Russian relations. From Russia Today:
“We heard [Trump's] campaign rhetoric while still a candidate for the US presidency, which was focused on restoring the relations between Russia and the United States,” President Putin said, speaking at the presentation ceremony of foreign ambassadors' letters of credentials in Moscow.
“We understand and are aware that it will be a difficult path in the light of the degradation in which, unfortunately, the relationship between Russia and the US are at the moment,” he added.
Speaking about the degraded state of relations between the countries, the president once again stressed that “it is not our fault that Russia-US relations are as you see them.”
Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte is another populist who triumphed this year, but he has been condemned around the globe for a bloody war on drugs and has sought to distance himself from the United States. He offered congratulations to the president-elect. Via ABS-CBN News:
"President Duterte wishes President-elect Trump success in the next four years as Chief Executive and commander-in chief of the U.S. military, and looks forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law," the Office of Communications Secretary said in a statement.
Mainstream European leaders have been less warm to the Trump phenomenon. The mogul criticized German chancellor Angela Merkel during the campaign. Feel free to read between the lines on what she had to say, via Deutsche Welle:
"Whoever the American people elect as their president in free and fair elections, that has a significance far beyond the USA," the chancellor said in Berlin on Wednesday.
"Germany and America are bound by their values: democracy, freedom, the respect for the law and the dignity of human beings, independent of their origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political position," she added.
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