I don’t think either Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin trust each other very much. I think there is the hope that they will get along, but I’d be very surprised if Russia’s interests are found to align with those of the United States in most cases. Consequently, with Donald Trump pursuing an aggressive isolationist philosophy, I expect “America First” to ultimately fly in the face of any proposed long term alliance with Russia.
Does Vladimir Putin hope to profit from the Presidency of Donald Trump? I’m quite sure that he does. Will he do so? Maybe for a while, maybe for no period of time at all. Once the dust clears, words turn into action, speeches turn into policy and Twitter diplomacy gives way to real substantive conversations, I expect both sides to have a rude awakening; and that awakening will probably be ruder on Putin’s side. Donald Trump remains unpredictable on the world stage and if Russia banks on his support and friendship, they’d better have a good back-up plan.