Will Huntsman restore trust between nuclear superpowers?
New US Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, who replaced John Tefft on this post, said the United States' relationship with Russia is its most complex in the world, currently marked by a low level of trust. His primary goal as ambassador, he said, is to restore trust between the two nuclear superpowers, KSL reports.
"We shouldn't think this will be easy or that it will be quick," he said. "But I believe that with goodwill on both sides we can turn a corner and begin to work together effectively on addressing several key issues."
Earlier, commenting on Huntsman appointment, Kremlin expressed hope that he will make a significant contribution to restoration of bilateral relations "after all the damage Washington has inflicted on them." As Dmitry Peskov, president's spokesman, said, Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that improvement of relations will benefit the entire world, not only Moscow and Washington.
As the director of the Roosevelt Fund of Study of the US at Moscow State University, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Yuri Rogulev, noted in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza, it will be difficult for Huntsman to be American Ambassador to Russia during such a difficult time for diplomatic work.
"Foreign policy line of the US President and the State Department against Russia is subjected to all sorts of attacks and criticism, so it's hard to say what will happen, especially since Huntsman is a compromise figure from the point of view of appointment. He is not a career diplomat, although he has experience of diplomatic work - he was an Ambassador to Beijing and Singapore, held several government posts. At the same time, he has political experience as the governor of Utah, and his family is very influential due to Huntsman Corporation, which has interests in Russia. In other words, he is an independent person, which can be seen based on his career, but it's unclear to what extent will he follow the line of current administration," he explained.
It is important that Huntsman is not an opponent of Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson. "This is the only thing that can be said about him with certainty: Huntsman is ideologically close to both Trump and Tillerson, he's a conservative politician, a businessman and a politician at the same time, just like current President and Secretary of State. This means that we can expect a combination of common sense and conservatism from his work," Rogulev noted.
"In current difficult situation, he will have to maneuver, take into account interests of Washington administration and overall situation. In any case, it's impossible to expect big shifts," the expert concluded.