'US and Russia jointly solving just one problem could stop ruinous path they are on'
Russia’s new ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, met US President Donald Trump on Friday as part of formalities that see him officially recognized as Moscow’s representative in Washington.
The meeting took place in a “warm and constructive” atmosphere, according to the diplomat.
RT spoke to political analyst and writer Charles Ortel to discuss whether this new appointment will change the relationship between the US and Russia.
RT: Might a new Russian ambassador be a good thing at this point in relations?
Charles Ortel: I certainly hope so. When you look back at the long sweep of modern American history, and you think that this nation lost many people, wounded and killed in action fighting Germany, and then look now at the close relationship we have with Germany, one might imagine that the US could find it somehow possible to retrigger the relationship we have with Russia and find at least one project to work together on for our common good. It strikes me that there are many out there. I am delighted that there is a new representative here in Washington, DC, and I am hopeful that the team close to Trump, not necessarily the Obama holdovers… can work hard to actually restart the relationship for the common good.
RT: Where do you see the row over the seizure of diplomatic property leading?
CO: It is really difficult for me to understand why either side is going down this path. We could equipollent say in terms of our population, we have a larger population and you could come back and say we have a larger territory... with all the problems we face around the world, in particular our joint problem with radical Islamic terrorism and the economy that seems to be still not finding its full potential, and I could on and on – with all those problems, with so many shared interests, I fail to see the wisdom of going down this path.
RT: What would it take to turn relations around at this point?
CO: I think a common win – a close team from both countries picking a problem and jointly solving it quickly together. Getting to know one another – a close team of trusted people on both sides picking just one problem, any old problem in the world, working together to solve it quickly and effectively will go a long way to stopping this ruinous path we are on. One problem from our side of course is that so long as Special Counsel Robert Mueller is in the background there, the Trump team has to watch very carefully how it interacts with Russia. We don’t really understand what Mr. Mueller may be up to.
RT: Do you think if the ongoing investigations into alleged collusion between team Trump and Russia find nothing, that might be the point things can change?
CO: I truly would hope so. The notion that any nation meddling in another country’s election is a very bad thing. And neither of us should do it. The US has been accused of doing that around the world in many countries. We need to get this chapter behind us… But outside the US, there are so many places in the world, the Middle East, for example, where a joint effort involving the US and Russia could be so productive – in Europe, as well. And I would have thought that is what we want to spend our time doing for the common benefit of both of our peoples.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.