Sassounian: Improved Russian-U.S. Relations May Be Helpful to Armenia

Last November, Americans elected the unlikeliest presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump. He is not your typical politician. As a successful and prominent businessman, he is used to making off-the-cuff remarks and not subscribing to any particular direction.

Donald Trump (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Given the controversial nature of the Trump Presidency, domestic and international relations may drastically change. President Trump has already revised his position on some major campaign promises: expelling illegal aliens, building a wall between Mexico and the United States, and not allowing immigrants from Islamic countries to visit the United States.

President Trump has also altered his position regarding serious, international issues. President Trump may not be sure himself what positions he would take on a variety of foreign policy issues.

Here is a short list of major international decisions President Trump will have to make.

The most important realignment of relations will be between Russia and the United States. If these two major countries can get along, there is no reason to be at odds risking the stability of the world.

Furthermore, cooperation between Russia and the United States will have a positive effect on reducing terrorism in Syria and Iraq. Many of the major international figures who are opposed to the prospect of the improved relations between Putin and President Trump are reverting back to the Cold War Era mentality.

The biggest issue that has arisen in recent weeks was the accusation that Russia had hacked the U.S. presidential election. However, Russians have not done anything extraordinary. China, Russia, and even U.S. allies have always tried to steal each other’s secrets.

Due to his discontent with current international agreements, President Trump will want to re-negotiate the terms, previously approved under the Obama administration. One of the most important changes President Trump wants to do is re-negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran, which involves several other countries besides Iran and the U.S. It remains to be seen if the Iranians will go along with any of the changes proposed by President Trump.

A major realignment desired by President Trump is the settling of the Israeli-Arab conflict. If President Trump goes along with his plans in moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, this could result in a major clash between the US and the Arab states leading to highly undesirable consequences.

The final issue that President Trump will confront is the newly improved relationship between the United States and Cuba. It remains to be seen whether Cuba will go along with any changes proposed by President Trump.

There is no guarantee that President Trump’s ideas will improve the previously negotiated agreements or if they be accepted by the rest of the world. Consequentially, there is a lot of uncertainty where the new world order is headed, and whether relations between various countries will improve. The entire world hopes that countries will get along better with each other and peaceful solutions will be found. Positive relations between Russia and the U.S. will help recent challenges faced by the Armenian Republic.

10 Comments on Sassounian: Improved Russian-U.S. Relations May Be Helpful to Armenia

  1. This writer does not know what he is talking about. Trump in 2 days will be our President, and rightfully so. He won with a splendid mandate. Hillary would have been a great danger to this country and the world. She would have conibued the failed 8 years of Obama.
    Rejoice America, you are on the mend!

  2. “If President Trump goes along with his plans in moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, this could result in a major clash between the US and the Arab states leading to highly undesirable consequences.”
    If Armenia had the chance to get back old Armenian cities now within Turkey, like Van and Nis, would Armenia turn it down, even if the Turks kicked and screamed? Why should we not have Jerusalem, all of it, whereas the city has had a Jewish majority since 1853. The fact that the Palestinian Authority and other Arabs are kicking and screaming about transfering the embassy just shows their bad faith in negotiations. This is because the talk has only been about putting the embassy in the former western sector of Jerusalem which has been under Israeli authority since 1948. By objecting to a move to west Jerusalem, they are saying that they don’t want Israel even to have that part of the Holy City. In any case, they show no desire for peace.

    • Why should Israel not have all of Jerusalem? Because under international law Israel does not have sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.

      This is not about vague claims about ‘historical cities’ and ‘the majority population of the city was Jewish in 1853.’ It is about international law, which has never declared the entirety of Jerusalem to be under Israeli sovereignty. Even the U.N. Partition Plan did not give Israel all of Jerusalem.

      I have not looked into whether Armenia can lay any territorial claim to Van and Nis under international law. Likely it cannot. And if it cannot, then I will not argue that Armenia should ‘get back’ these cities.

      Trump claims that his reason for deporting millions of brown people is out of respect for the rule of law. Well, clearly he does not respect the rule of law if the outcome is not in his favor. Otherwise he would not be declaring Jerusalem to be part of Israel.

  3. Trump will only make deals that he thinks benefit the USA according to his limited vision of what is good.
    Unless Russia wants Armenian favored, Trump has no incentive to be helpful.
    However, I do think that Trump will be openly hostile to Erdogan to show him he can’t be maneuvered, and because he will believe that Erdogan is helping our enemies. I don’t think that will help or harm Armenia.
    I think the real question is whether Azerbaijan reads Trump as someone who will assist it against Russian influence or Armenia. I do think Trump will be at least as pro Aliev as Obama, maybe more so – Trump does not care about the freedom of the Azeris, he cares only about making deals.

  4. avatar Ara Kassabian // January 18, 2017 at 6:34 pm // Reply

    This seems to be a very superficial analysis. Please do let us remember that currently, as in most of our history, our survival has always hinged on being the buffer zone between two major powers, catering to one or the other alternatively based on current events. In this case, the two major powers are Russia and the US, with Turkey acting as a US proxy.

    If the US mends relations with Russia, so will Turkey (and, indeed, Turkey is already doing so). If that happens, then Russia will no longer have any reason to protect Armenia against Azerbaijan. Indeed, Russia will have every incentive to resolve the Karabakh issue through the Madrid process, which is favorable to Azerbaijan (and appealing to its ally Turkey).

    For that reason, I very sincerely hope that Trump becomes Turkey’s best ally, in order to give Russia reason to continue to help Armenia. Of course, this is an unstable situation at best, but it MAY give Armenia the opportunity to develop its independence from Russia and gain some measure of long-term stability. At the moment, this is probably the best that we can hope for.

    As for an independent assessment of Trump as President, all I can say that Trump’s supporters will be severely disappointed in their hopes. But that’s another discussion.

  5. No benfit to Armenia is mentioned in this whole article! Was it intentional to leave it to the readers’ imagination!?!

  6. avatar Peter Mikaelian // January 19, 2017 at 10:01 am // Reply

    Why doesn’t Mr. Sassounian talk about the interests Trump has in Azerbayjan and Turkey. This man thinks only of economic and fanancial aspects of relations between the US and other countries. Financial side only if he has personal interest in it. What profit does Armenia offer to Trump ? If there is no profitable venture for him , then there will be no interest to side with Armenia. Who does Mr. Sassounian think Donald Trump will side with should Alyiev attack Artsakh? . At this moment Putin is pushing his agenda on Artsakh to surrender the safety belt of occupied lands to Azerbaijan., and should we believe that good cooperation between Trump and Putin will benefit Armenia ? Wishful thinking.

  7. “The biggest issue that has arisen in recent weeks was the accusation that Russia had hacked the U.S. presidential election. However, Russians have not done anything extraordinary. China, Russia, and even U.S. allies have always tried to steal each other’s secrets.”

    The author is taking this subject too lightly, and his commentary is very loose. Stealing state secrets and intelligence gathering is one thing. Influencing elections and generating doubt about the results is another.

    As security researcher Bruce Schneier has noted, “Elections serve two purposes. First, and most obvious, they are how we choose a winner. But second, and equally important, they convince the loser ­- and all the supporters ­- that he or she lost.”

    In this case, hacking US elections undermines our democracy by causing the loser to question whether or not they actually lost. This is why Russian hacking needs to be taken seriously.

  8. actually, solving the israeli-palestinian conflict would go further in helping Armenia. With the conflict resolved – and i think this is more likely if the US and Russia can improve relations, then turkey loses its importance – one of the first orders of business would then be recognition of the Armenian Genocide – which i imagine is making more and more informed jews and members of their government sick to their stomachs that their country won’t recognize it for fear of angering turkey. the US, i believe would recognize it almost concurrently. Of course recognition would lead to reparation for Armenia and Armenians

  9. You forget the electorial college they are the ticket to the presidency and that was a shock to the supporters as well as the losers they have and did chose Trump When Obama era voters went to vote they were intimidated and harassed NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THAT AND THE MEDIA everyone seems to believe even though they have been caught in many webs of their lies DID NOT REPORTn the extent of that we all know if their lips are moving they are lieing if they are silent they are hiding the truth because they cant distort it to suit their agendas This wont get posted but someone is reading it an choosing not to post it so I still get my say so and can attest the validity of the words you print and sensor in your version of democracy and freedom of speech each time you don’t post my comments talk about hypocrisy no I know I misspell words have rubbed off my letters due to typing so much can not type and if I fixed my errors Id never get my say so and you can figure out what is being said

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