Sputnik: We've seen a rapid deterioration in relations between Russia and the United States recently relating to the Skripal case, and also the recent events with the missile attacks in Syria, now with what that in mind, and the ongoing geopolitical environment that's circumnavigating the world at the moment, are you surprised with the reversal of the decision not to initiate further sanctions from the US on Monday after Nikki Haley had communicated they would be forthcoming?
Jonathan Adelman: I wasn't really surprised; this administration, as we say in the United States, is still getting its act together, and the reason for that, there are many reasons, but the biggest reason I think has to do with Donald Trump himself. He has no political background whatsoever, he was a talk-show host on television, he's a famous businessman, but it's taking him a long time to get his act together, and Nikki Haley has been operating semi-autonomously, and he likes her a lot, but in this case I think he thought she was going too far with already a difficult relationship with Moscow.
Sputnik: One of his promises when he came to power was that he was going to have closer ties with President Putin, that's not happened, he's actually gone on record to say he's been one of the hardest presidents in terms of the pressure he's put to bear on Russia. How much does this show the global world that his administration and his presidency is full of contradictions? This is causing grave deterioration of global confidence because of this incoherence — what's your take on the first 12-14 months of his administration?
Jonathan Adelman: He's been very slow getting started, he's got the record for the greatest number of people in his administration who were fired and that's 30-40 percent, so he's had a hard time getting going because he comes from a very different world. He also comes from a very rich world, he's worth somewhere between $4-10 billion, so he's very used to when he says do it they do it, and the world of politics these days is incredibly complex, not just between the United States and Russia, but also Americans are paying a lot of attention now to Iran because on May 12 there's going to be a decision whether to continue or not the treaty that was reached under Barack Obama, and how to deal with Turkey, which is been a long time ally of the United States, but now has not been; there's a lot of complexity here, and the other problem is the State Department, the Foreign Service, they're not happy with him on the whole.
For more information listen to this edition of Weekend Special with Jonathan Adelman.
The views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.