World reacts to November 8th: European Leaders
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European leaders offered mixed reactions to the new President elect since his victory on Tuesday. According to the Washington Times, Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, was the first world leader to congratulate Trump on Wednesday, saying that “Russia wants and is ready to restore full-fledged relations with the United States...This would serve the interests of both the Russian and American peoples, and would have a positive effect on the general climate of global affairs given the special responsibility of Russia and the US to sustain global security.”
Both leaders have swapped compliments over the election process. Furthermore, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov recently revealed that Russian officials have been in contact with leaders in the Trump campaign during the election process and have already communicated with Trump advisors. As reported by the Washington Times, this is all to the dismay of the Washington foreign policy establishment. In a tweet last week, former U.S. ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul sarcastically said, “Putin intervened in our election process and succeeded. Well done!”
This reaction comes in sharp contrast to Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, who had a more conditional congratulations, saying that “Germany and America are connected by common values: democracy, freedom, respect for the law and for human dignity irrespective of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political conviction. On the basis of these values, I offer the future president of America, Donald Trump, a close working relationship.”
In response, the New York Times has hailed her as “the Liberal West’s last defender” amidst a recent European surge of populism with the Brexit vote in Britain and the rise in popularity of populist leader Marine Le Pen in France.