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Wed Feb 1, 2017, 01:40 PM

UN Braces as Trumps Detente With Russia Upsets Balance of Power

"President Donald Trump’s outreach to Russia is reverberating through the United Nations, where U.S. allies worry that a partnership between Washington and Moscow could undermine a historic balance of power dating to the early days of the Cold War.....

Few countries have more at stake than Ukraine, which is keenly focused on whether the U.S. will continue to stand with other nations in not recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, or if Washington softens its stance -- and eases sanctions -- in return for more cooperation against terrorism. Syria’s beleaguered opposition, which Russia has targeted for bombing in its support of President Bashar al-Assad, could be wiped out if the U.S. shifts policy and withholds its support.

The U.K., which boasts of its “special relationship” to the U.S., is said to be deeply concerned that Trump’s admiration for President Vladimir Putin will give Russia sway in eastern Europe, according to two senior officials, who asked not to be identified discussing a sensitive matter. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May met with Trump in Washington Jan. 27, and Trump spoke with Putin by phone for about an hour the following day.

“It’s one thing to say you want to put ‘America first’ and try new things, but this is not the right time to turn your back on alliances that have served us for 70 years," said Edward Luck, a professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. “You may think it’s time to approach diplomacy differently but you cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater.”


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