Matthew Sussex on Russia’s long game

April 5, 2017

A cloud continues to hover over Russian interference in the US presidential election. Associate professor Matthew Sussex, academic director at the Australian National University’s National Security College and a specialist in Russian foreign and strategic policy, says Russia’s meddling has been “exceptionally damaging”.

“I think that the Kremlin was really dreading having a Hillary Clinton White House because she would have put up the pressure quite significantly on Ukraine, on Crimea, and on Russia’s behaviour more generally,” Sussex says.

“The Krelim side of it was, ‘well Trump will deliver absolutely everything we want’, and that was number one: loosen NATO, which would give it a freer hand in Ukraine and not have to worry about its western flank so much.

"Second, to make America’s allies pay more and make them more uncomfortable for the sense that they might be protected by the United States. And finally – and this is the big one – Trump has promised to wind back the liberal trading order, and it’s widely perceived that this has been what’s kept stability in our own region in the Asia-Pacific but also Europe as well.”

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