Trump Signals Possibility Of Dropping Russia Sanctions Imposed After Election

VLADIMIR RODIONOV

President-elect Donald Trump said that he would consider lifting sanctions on Russia and was non-committal on the One China policy in an interview published Friday in the Wall Street Journal.

The two positions mark significant changes in American foreign policy.

“If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?” Trump told the Journal, referring to the possibility of lifting sanctions against Russia if they proved helpful in fighting terrorism and in other areas.

Trump told the publication he would keep sanctions put in place in December—imposed in response to Russian cyber attacks and interference in the 2016 election—“at least for a period of time” but didn’t specify otherwise, according to the report.

In a press conference Wednesday, Trump said it would be an “asset” if Putin liked him.

“I understand that they would like to meet, and that’s absolutely fine with me,” he told the Journal of the Russian leader.

Trump first indicated he would challenge the decades-long American diplomatic consensus concerning the One China policy in early December, when he spoke with the Taiwanese president over the phone, an unprecedented step.

The One China policy holds that Taiwan and China are part of the same state.

“Everything is under negotiation including One China,” Trump told the Journal, adding later, in reference to Taiwan: “We sold them $2 billion of military equipment last year. We can sell them $2 billion of the latest and greatest military equipment but we’re not allowed to accept a phone call. First of all it would have been very rude not to accept the phone call.”

Trump maintained his criticism of China as a “currency manipulator,” but did say he would not immediately use that label.

“I would talk to them first,” he said, adding: “Certainly they are manipulators. But I’m not looking to do that.”

“Instead of saying, ‘We’re devaluating our currency,’ they say, ‘Oh, our currency is dropping.’ It’s not dropping. They’re doing it on purpose,” he said. a“Our companies can’t compete with them now because our currency is strong and it’s killing us.”

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