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Obama hopes Donald Trump would stand up to Russia

18 November, 2016

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US President Barack Obama on Thursday said that he hopes his successor Donald Trump would “stand up” to Russia when it breaches international norms, citing the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

Obama said he hoped Trump, who has voiced admiration for President Vladimir Putin, “is willing to stand up to Russia where they are deviating from our values and international norms”.

Speaking at a Berlin joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama said Russia was an important country and a military superpower with “influence around the world”.

But he stressed that he hoped Trump does not take an approach of “if we just cut some deals with Russia, even if it hurts people or even if it violates international norms or even if it leaves smaller countries vulnerable, or creates long-term problems in regions like Syria, that we just do whatever is convenient at the time”.

“And that will be something that I think we'll learn more about as the president-elect puts his team together," he added.

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