Former CIA director: Russia will try to get Trump to block missile shield in Romania
Russian president Vladimir Putin will seek an agreement with the new Donald Trump Administration to block the NATO missile defense system in Romania and Poland, said Michael Morell, former CIA Acting Director.
Michael Morell spoke about the prospects of the relations between the United States and Russia in an interview for the US publication Cipher Brief.
“Putin is playing for the long-term,” Morell said. “The first thing he will want is a summit meeting with President Trump that would produce a deal – the U.S. agreeing to the elimination of Western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, and the U.S. agreeing not go forward with missile defense in Romania and Poland in exchange for a joint military effort against ISIS in Syria.”
Morell added that such a deal would have strategic benefits for Putin, “and he is counting that the domestic political benefits to Trump - the vast majority of the U.S. public does not really care about Ukraine or missile defense in Eastern Europe, but they do care about ISIS – to override what is in U.S. strategic interests”.
The NATO missile defense system installed at Deveselu, in Southern Romania, became operational in May 2016, despite Russia’s opposition. A similar system should be installed in Poland.
NATO and the U.S. have increased their military presence in Poland and Romania and throughout the region after Russia occupied Crimea in 2014.
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