Thursday

19th Jan 2017

Tusk: Trump poses risk for Western unity on Russia

  • Tusk said with Obama it was easier to formulate Western policy on Russia (Photo: Consillium)

EU Council chief Donald Tusk has warned that it will be harder to keep the West united against Russia with Donald Trump in the White House than it has been with Barack Obama.

"Keeping European unity towards Russia in the conflict with Ukraine, and more broadly also in global issues, was possible also thanks to the large support from President Obama," Tusk told Polish broadcaster TVN24.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"Today, I think that after the election and the victory of Donald Trump, it will be harder to build such unequivocal and uniform policy of the whole western world towards Russia. But one cannot give in," he said, according to Reuters.

Trump promised during his election campaign to improve Washington's relations with Russian president Vladimir Putin and questioned whether the US should protect allies spending too little on their defence.

That raised fears Trump could withdraw funding for NATO at a time of heightened tensions with Russia, a major concern for EU member states like Poland and the Baltic countries.

Tusk said Trump's statements reflect a different attitude towards Europe, NATO and Russia than his predecessors.

The former Polish prime minister said that in his first conversation with Trump, the president-elect wanted to know more about Brexit rather than about "eastern issues".

On sanctions Tusk said Russia should not be invited back to the G7, the club of major industrial powers, and that he expects the EU will extend its economic restrictions toward Russia to halfway through next year.

"There are reasons for which the western world ... has decided in favour of such a tough stance versus Russia and none of these reasons have disappeared," he said.

The US and the EU imposed economic sanctions on Russia after its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

Dinner for 27

EU leaders are expected to review European security and defence issues at the last summit for the year in two weeks time.

Breaking with tradition, the summit will last only one day and will end with a dinner, to which British prime minister Theresa May has not been invited.

The 27 leaders first met among themselves in September in Bratislava after Brexit, to reflect on how the EU should be reformed in the wake of the UK referendum result to leave the bloc.

The 27 leaders pledged to carry on the "Bratislava project" that has been thin on substance but is due to deliver proposals by next March when the EU will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its founding document, the Treaty of Rome.

Kerry to EU: Believe in yourself

Outgoing US secretary of state gives EU short pep talk from Davos, hailing its peaceful and economic success. 'It's worked, folks', he said.

Moldova turns from EU to Russia

Moldova's president said he would like to scrap an EU treaty and has started preparations to join a Russia-led bloc.

News in Brief

  1. Italy to hold 70% of Monte dei Paschi bank
  2. Nato hit by 500 cyberattacks every month
  3. Hundreds of migrants face German security review
  4. Outgoing US vice-president warns Europe on Russia
  5. German far-right party calls for end to WWII guilt
  6. First Chinese freight train arrives in Europe
  7. Europe has no vision, says Italian minister
  8. Juncker has 'slight doubts' on his group's convention idea

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  2. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  4. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  5. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  6. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  7. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  8. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  9. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhDs Across Europe on the Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU - Apply Now!
  12. Dialogue PlatformInterview: Fethullah Gulen Condemns Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey

Latest News

  1. EU cannot copy Australia's offshore asylum model
  2. Brexit men launch anti-EU website
  3. Germany details its 'Marshall Plan' for Africa
  4. IMF predicts 'pain' for UK, as banks prepare London exit
  5. EP deal could help Tusk keep Council job
  6. UN struggles to monitor fate of readmitted Syrians in Turkey
  7. European space chief: Moon village is 'more or less a fact'
  8. May's speech was not a war declaration, Malta says