Thursday

30th Mar 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.

Poland: Russia seeks 'new empire' in Europe

Polish minister said Russian military “aggression” in Europe was a threat even to "lucky" states, such as Ireland, which are not on the front line.

Feature

What would a Trump victory mean for the EU?

A Trump win would cause cold sweats in Europe's chancelleries, but his foreign policy might not be as radical or as pro-Russian as his rhetoric.

Analysis

Lukashenka: End of an era?

The political spring in Belarus ended just as the actual season began, but greater changes loom after 23 years of dictatorship.

News in Brief

  1. UK delivered its Article 50 letter to the EU
  2. Support for Germany's anti-EU party fading
  3. Turkish intelligence not welcome in Germany
  4. US senate approves Montenegro’s Nato bid
  5. Scottish MPs give go ahead to seek referendum
  6. Uber pulls out of Denmark over new taxi-regulation
  7. EU court validates sanctions on Russia's Rosneft
  8. Luxembourg to team up with Ireland in Apple tax appeal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The Idealist QuarterlyCan Progressive Stories Survive Our Post-Truth Era? After-Work Discussion on 6 April
  2. ACCAG20 Citizens Want 'Big Picture' Tax Policymaking, According to Global Survey
  3. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  4. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  5. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  6. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  7. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  8. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  9. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  10. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  12. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans