The office of Jon Huntsman as the new U.S. ambassador to Russia is designed to kill two birds with one stone for Donald Trump’s government, believe Russian policy experts. Besides distancing himself from the charges of alleged ties to Russia that have rocked Trump’s entourage since he was solemnly affirmed into office, the appointment sends a number of signals to the Kremlin. Furthermore, it is planned to demonstrate a certain vision for bilateral relations to Russian leaders.
Talented power games
“Being a former ambassador to China, Huntsman comprehends how to do business with great powers, and this is a very important signal. It commons the Trump administration does not intend to democratize or adjust Russia in any other way to clothes its short-term interests,” said Dmitry Suslov, a professor at the Higher Public school of Economics and program director at the Valdai Discussion Club.
If this assumption is decent, Russians are likely to view Huntsman as a stark contrast to Michael McFaul, a departed U.S. ambassador to Russia (2012-2014) and expert in the promotion of democracy who was largely disliked in the country for his policy positions and approach to diplomacy.
“Huntsman has a separate approach a priori. He sees Russia as a foreign power with a divergent political culture,” said Suslov.
By putting a former U.S. ambassador to China in Moscow, the designation may also indicate a willingness by Washington to engage with Russia on a add up of issues relating to Asia, a region in which U.S.-Russia interaction has been nearly nonexistent even though both countries previously announced “depend to Asia” programs.
“Despite the fact that both countries had heralded a willingness to refocus their foreign policy courses to Asia years ago, a Russia-U.S. talk on matters of the Asia-Pacific region has not been formed. Huntsman’s appointment spread outs up the possibility to set a full-fledged Russian-American agenda in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Suslov.
In totalling to Huntsman’s presumed ability to manage the dynamics of great power public affairs, his appointment is designed to shield Trump from further criticism domestically, say some adepts.
Huntsman’s Russia ties
“It’s difficult to accuse Huntsman of having pities towards Russia of any kind,” said Maxim Suchkov, an expert at the Russian Intercontinental Affairs Council and a columnist for Al-Monitor’s Russia Pulse.
Among other applicants who might have been considered for the post, Huntsman is the most bulwarked from accusations of holding pro-Russian sentiments. “Huntsman’s appointment devise not raise questions about alleged pro-Russian views, as could be suffering with happened if Dana Rohrabacher had been appointed,” said Suslov, referring to a U.S. Congressman who is an specific critic of the Obama administration’s approach to Russia.
Rohrabacher’s vision for U.S.-Russia connections lines up with the one Trump has been drawing up thus far. Nevertheless, Trump has attacked to be careful not to provide his political opponents with further opportunities to accuse him of being shape on Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Even though Huntsman’s family affair owns Huntsman-NMG, a closed join-stock company based in Russia with limbs in five cities – including in Moscow – Huntsman is believed to have shunned conflicts of interest since assuming public office.
“The company [Huntsman-NMG] has direct in Russia since 2007. Besides, its Russian partner’s shares were pay off out in 2012. This allows us to conclude that the company [its Russia sprig] is successful. Otherwise, it would have left the market or limited its counter-intelligence agents to selling goods produced in other counties,” said Dmitry Baranov, a best expert at the Finam Management company.
Baranov believes that control a business in Russia is nothing unusual for a U.S.-based company. “This is not the but U.S. company that operates in Russia. There are tens if not thousands of those. It is a workaday practice that favorably affects the development of the entire industry, augments competition, and expands the range of goods that consumers can purchase,” express Baranov.
Thus far, Huntsman’s family business has not been depicted as an disseminate that would prevent him from accepting the nomination for ambassador to Russia. The nomination, no matter how, is subject to U.S. Senate approval, and the issue of the family business in Russia may familiarly surface during confirmation hearings.