Kurk Dorsey, Professor of History and the History Graduate Program Director at the University of New Hampshire, said that relations between Russia and the United States would improve in the short term, since Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin "clearly respect each other." The analyst also warned that Trump's policies are hard to predict, suggesting that the next US president might not have determined what they would be yet.
Dorsey added that Trump would review anti-Russian sanctions, but would not simply lift them, but would instead ask Russia for something in return. He did not specify what Washington could demand.
Lamy expressed doubt that Washington's relations with Moscow would significantly improve, adding that much will depend on Trump's foreign policy team. The analyst said that although we do not know specific names yet, the team will likely contain supporters of classical realism, who will be "concerned with the balance of power issue in the region."
Donald Trump is reported to be considering several options for the next secretary of state, including Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Sen. Bob Corker, current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.
The Syrian crisis has been a major point of contention between the Obama administration and the Kremlin. However, a decision to conduct joint counterterrorism operations in the Middle East could become "the first step" towards better relations between Russia and the United States, Lamy added.
This is something that Moscow has long advocated for. Russian officials have repeatedly said that international terrorism is the key threat to all mankind and urged the international community to join forces in a bid to tackle this challenge.
Under the new administration, Washington could also review its stance on President Bashar al-Assad. US officials have pursued a strategy that has been contingent on Assad resigning since 2011. Washington's "Assad must go" mantra has occasionally receded into the background, but it has been at the core of America's approach to Syria ever since a foreign-sponsored insurgency morphed into a war.
Trump appears to opt for a more sensible approach to the Syrian crisis. In addition, there will be no "humanitarian hawks" like US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and US National Security Advisor Susan Rice on his foreign policy team, Lamy said.
However, Dorsey doubted that Russia and the US would launch joint operations in Syria.