CNN’s Carol Costello said that Russia wasn’t a superpower anymore and that Putin played nice with Trump because standing in the president-elect’s inner orbit would bestow the “illusion” of power.
“I think Russia yearns again to be a superpower, right? It’s not a superpower right now. Its economy is in the tank, right?” she said. “And to appear on the same stage as the American president might give the illusion that Russia is again a superpower.”
William Courtney, former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia and Kazakhstan, clarified that Russia was still a great power with “a lot of potential to influence global affairs and affairs back home.”
He added that having a good rapport with Trump was not enough to actually improve U.S.-Russian relations, which were still largely antagonistic on a number of fronts, including Syria, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and over a nuclear arms treaty that “Russia is apparently violating,” he said.
Costello repeated that Putin simply “yearned to be respected on the world stage” and wanted to be invited to statehouse dinners at the White House.
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