06:41 GMT +316 December 2019
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    US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017

    Trump 'Puts Pro-Russian Agenda on Hold' as Concession to American Elites

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    Donald Trump appears to have decided to make concessions to the establishment, having encountered fierce resistance from the US Congress, political analyst Georgy Engelgardt asserted, citing Washington's readjusted stance on the North Atlantic Alliance and Russia as a case in point.

    "During the election campaign, Trump championed the idea of limiting America's expansionism. Among other things he was advocating for a more calculated approach toward NATO and urging other member states to assume more responsibilities as part of the bloc," the analyst told Gazeta.ru.

    Earlier this year, Trump caused a stir when he called the North Atlantic Alliance "obsolete," adding that the bloc has been unable to efficiently respond to terrorism. He was also critical of NATO members who were allocating less than 2 percent of their GDP on defense. In 2015, only five countries in the 28-member bloc met the threshold. On March 17, Trump described the current spending imbalance as "very unfair" to the United States.

    However, high-ranking US officials, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, have repeatedly reaffirmed that Washington remains committed to NATO in recent months. In February, Mattis called the military bloc "a fundamental bedrock for the United States and for all the trans-Atlantic community."

    Engelgardt, a research fellow at the Institute for Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, further said that Trump's initiatives at home and abroad have been met with resistance from the US Congress, prompting the White House to backtrack on some of its pledges.

    "Trump's decision to put the pro-Russian agenda on hold is the most obvious step backwards," he explained, adding that ties between Washington and Moscow have become a "politically toxic" issue for the current US administration.

    Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that Washington should improve its strained relationship with Russia, suggesting that both countries could work together on tackling Daesh and other terrorist groups. However, he has not unveiled any specific proposals yet. Meanwhile, some members of his team have been increasingly tough on Russia, much to Moscow's discontent.

    According to recent rumors, Trump has become less willing to pursue a deal with Russia due to mounting domestic pressure on his administration with regard to supposed illicit dealings with Moscow. Both, Trump and Russian officials have denied any wrongdoing.

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