Flynn resignation could hurt Trump, US-Russia ties

Published: 14 February 2017, 17:34

 

The resignation of the US President’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will have a negative impact both on the Trump Administration and prospects of Russian-American relations, Russian military expert Vladimir Batyuk told Sputnik.

 

 

In an interview with Sputnik, Russian military expert Vladimir Batyuk of the Moscow-based Center for US and Canadian Studies suggested that the resignation of the US President’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will ride roughshod over both a political image of the Trump Administration and the future of the Moscow-Washington ties.

 

On Monday, the White House announced that Michael Flynn had resigned from the post of US President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser and that retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellog had been appointed to take his place.

 

In his resignation letter, Flynn said that he had not provided the White House with full information about his contacts with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.

 

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Flynn’s phone communications with Kislyak prior to Trump’s inauguration on January 20 have raised questions about whether the adviser broke a law forbidding private US citizens from engaging with foreign nations about diplomatic disputes.

 

US media reported that Flynn had allegedly discussed the issue of the anti-Russian sanctions with Kislyak before Trump was officially sworn in as US president. The Trump team has repeatedly rejected the allegations.

 

Commenting on this, Vladimir Batyuk said that on the one hand, Flynn’s resignation had dealt a strong blow to the image of the Trump Administration, given that Flynn was one of the key figures in the Trump team.

 

“The fact that this man proved to be an incompetent and undisciplined person will certainly deal a blow to the authority of the Trump Administration,” Batyuk said.

 

On the other hand, Flynn’s resignation will prompt Russia to think twice before trusting Washington and holding confidential talks on sensitive bilateral and international issues, according to Batyuk.

 

“And, of course, it will have negative consequences for the future of a Russian-American dialogue,” he pointed out.

 

Batyuk also said that when Donald Trump choses someone who does not fully understand his duties as a member of the Trump team, it certainly deals a blow to the US President himself.

 

He also did not rule out that Flynn’s exit may lead to a situation when the Russian side will be wary of contacts with representatives of the Trump Administration.

 

“When [Russian Ambassador to the US] Kislyak talked to Flynn, he was absolutely sure that he was communicating with Donald Trump’s representative. Now that the truth has been revealed, it has dealt a very severe blow to Moscow’s trust toward the new US Administration. Trust is of paramount importance in diplomacy,” Batyuk concluded.