What does Trump's Presidential victory mean for Caucasus?
The unexpected victory of the Republican candidate, billionaire Donald Trump in the US presidential elections will make little difference to Washington's relations with the South Caucasus, Russian political scientists told Vestnik Kavkaza, noting that it is the new US government's interaction with Russia, which will have the greatest impact on the region.
The political scientist Rovshan Ibragimov drew attention to the fact that now the business community representative will be working as US President. "Of course, we should understand that in the next four years, the US attitude towards other countries will be built as an extension of the traditional US foreign policy, so we should not expect any sharp variations of the standard policy. At the same time, the development of trade and economic relations with other countries would be priority for the US," he predicts.
It is especially advantageous for Azerbaijan that Donald Trump is the entrepreneur, and there are his companies in the republic. "At one time we had a plan to implement a number of projects with the participation of Trump's companies. We can also expect that there will be less of the criticism against Azerbaijan, with which we usually faced during the Obama government. Priorities of the previous US administration were based not on the non-economic and political cooperation, but on the geological interest of the US in the post-Soviet space," Rovshan Ibragimov noted.
The relations between the new US government with Moscow and Ankara are also important. "Let's see what their role in the development of further events in Syria will be. It is early to draw any specific conclusions at this point: the election of new presidents has little effect on the formation of the foreign policy's key areas in such countries as the US. There can be be some corrections in the course, but in general the format of contacts will remain the same," the expert expects.
The director of the Caucasus Institute, Alexander Iskandaryan, stressed that Trump's victory does not change anything in Armenia's relations with the US. "The US policy towards Armenia is unlikely to change. At the same time, the relations between Washington and Moscow, which have an impact on the entire Caucasus region, are very important to Yerevan. And they are likely to be changed. At the same time, it is unlikely that the process will be a 180 degree change, as it was presented in the media during the election campaign," he warned.
The head of the Institute of Management Strategy, Petre Mamradze, expects that Trump's behavior in the international arena will be balanced by his team. "The problem is that in one day he can give several conflicting slogans and change his plans. In private conversations with people I know, Trump emphasized that the election campaign is one thing, but when you need to engage in serious state affairs is the other thing. If he would really fulfill some of his promises in the foreign policy, it will complicate lives of Georgia and other small countries," the expert believes.
"In general, we should not expect improving relations between Georgia and the US. The Republicans have traditionally fairly strict policy, which implies assistance to many countries, including Georgia, and if this line will prevail, if the party can explain Trump, then we will see what happens next. But we must not forget that Donald Trump may be different from what he positioned himself during the election campaign," Peter Mamradze concluded.