U.S. Policy on Russia? Trump and His Team Might Give Different Answers

“The big problem with Trump’s policy is that it doesn’t add up,” said Stephen Sestanovich, who served as ambassador to former Soviet republics in the 1990s. “If you have a policy that doesn’t add up, you won’t win support for it. And if nobody supports it, how tough can it really be?”

When it comes to Ukraine, Mr. Trump’s administration has gone further than Mr. Obama’s in some respects. Most prominently, it provided more than 200 Javelin anti-tank missiles plus three dozen launchers last year.

The Javelins, however, have been stored at a base in western Ukraine far from the front lines. The administration has insisted that they were meant as defensive weapons and could be deployed rapidly in case of a new Russian incursion.

The recent naval confrontation in the Kerch Strait has tested Mr. Trump. Nearly two months later, Russia has refused to release the ships or sailors. Mr. Trump canceled a meeting in Buenos Aires with Mr. Putin, then pulled him aside at a summit leaders’ dinner and told him the standoff needed to be solved, aides said.

Administration officials have developed possible responses, including enacting new sanctions, increasing NATO naval presence in the Black Sea, sending allied ships to make calls at Ukrainian ports, deploying NATO or European Union monitors into uncontested Ukrainian territory to serve as a deterrent, and stationing unarmed observers on Ukrainian ships as they transit the Kerch Strait.

So far, Mr. Trump has approved none of these, stymied in part by the Europeans, who have not agreed to a coordinated response. But administration officials said responses were still under consideration. And the American destroyer Donald Cook entered the Black Sea this weekend to make a point to Moscow.

In the meantime, analysts said, American policy remains bifurcated by the disparity of Mr. Trump’s statements and his administration’s actions. “I just see this dichotomy there,” Mr. Pifer said. “I don’t know how it gets resolved.”

Source link

more recommended stories

  • Feinstein Lectures Children Who Want Green New Deal, Portraying It as Untenable

    Senator Dianne Feinstein found herself in.

  • On Politics: Trump and Advisers May Have Different Goals for North Korea

    Good Friday morning. Here are some.

  • Mueller Report Expected to Go to Justice Department Within Weeks

    WASHINGTON — The new attorney general,.

  • CNN Is Criticized for Hiring Trump Administration Aide as a Political Editor

    Sarah Isgur Flores, a Republican spokeswoman.

  • On Politics: Inside Trump’s War on the Investigations Encircling Him

    Good Wednesday morning. Here are some.

  • Bernie Sanders on the Issues: Where He Stands and What Could Derail Him

    The measure, drafted by Representative Alexandria.

  • Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Ancestry Draws a Shrug From These Voters

    “She definitely made a mistake,” he.

  • Anthony Weiner Is Out of Prison, and in a Re-Entry Center in Brooklyn

    [What you need to know to.

  • Heather Nauert Withdraws From Consideration as U.N. Ambassador

    PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump’s.

  • Watch Out. Tax Season Is Even More Stressful Than Usual.

    Take a deep breath, a drink,.

  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Returns to Work at Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

  • Ilhan Omar Confronts Venezuela Envoy About Iran-Contra Affair and Human Rights – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search U.S..

  • With Procedural Maneuver, House G.O.P. Elevates Anti-Semitism as Political Issue

    The National Republican Congressional Committee blasted.

  • Unmistakable Divide Among Women in Virginia Over Accusations Against Fairfax

    It is an even more awkward.

  • As Primary Season Begins, Who Can Grab Trump by the Ratings?

    You can tell how deeply Donald.

  • On Politics With Lisa Lerer: The Sexism Shield

    Hi. Welcome to On Politics, your.

  • ‘He May Not Even Be a Free Person,’ Elizabeth Warren Says of Trump in 2020

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Countless Democratic.

  • Mission ‘Accomplished’? Trump Boasts of Being Boon for Military

    WASHINGTON — Over the past two.

  • Unlikely Partnership in House Gives Lawmakers Hope for Border Deal

    WASHINGTON — When it became clear.

  • In Surprise Abortion Vote, Roberts Avoids ‘Jolt to the Legal System’

    Mr. Specter, at the time a.

  • On Politics: ‘Green New Deal’ Plan Is Unveiled

    Liberal Democrats hope to redefine the.

  • Albany’s ‘Wonder Twins’ Form a Power Duo, Challenging Cuomo’s Influence

    [What you need to know to.

  • Virginia Attorney General Says He Also Dressed in Blackface

    RICHMOND — Virginia Attorney General Mark.

  • Beto O’Rourke to Make 2020 Decision by End of February

    Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democrat whose.

  • On Politics: Scandal Splits Top Virginia Democrats

    Good Tuesday morning. Here are some.

  • Attacking a Pay Wall That Hides Public Court Filings

    WASHINGTON — The federal judiciary has.

  • Trump Won’t Commit to Making Mueller Report Public

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President.

  • ‘I Am Not Either of the People in That Photo’ – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search Politics.

  • Justice Alito Temporarily Blocks a Louisiana Abortion Law

    WASHINGTON — Saying the Supreme Court.

  • Trump Discusses ‘Fake News,’ and Its Repercussions, With Times’s Publisher

    “And I think I am, too,”.

  • Sanders Unveils Estate Tax Plan, Joining Democrats Who Want to Tax the Rich

    Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a.

  • Kamala Harris’s Misleading Answer About a Police Shooting Bill

    What Was Said Jake Tapper, CNN.