Former U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine Steven Pifer told Carnegie Moscow Center, Censor.NET reports.
"President-elect Trump said things during the campaign that suggested a radical change in U.S. policy toward Ukraine: possible recognition of the Kremlin's illegal annexation of Crimea and an easing of sanctions on Russia, in a bid to build a better relationship with Moscow. Whether he will pursue such a change in office remains to be seen," Pifer said answering a question "What impact will Trump's victory have on Ukraine?"
"Two scenarios define the spectrum of possible approaches in a Trump administration.
"On one end, the Republican foreign policy mainstream in Congress strongly supports Kyiv and is suspicious of Russia. Vice President-elect Pence shares those views, as do most names floated as candidates for secretaries of state and defense. If-to repeat, if-Mr. Trump heeds such counsel, there might be some modification of U.S. policy toward Ukraine and Russia, but nothing dramatic.
"Another factor is the Russian president. Mr. Trump says he wants to do deals. Mr. Putin has made clear what he wants from the United States, but he has not indicated where he is prepared to give. Mr. Trump might find there is little basis for a deal.
"The second scenario, at the other end of the spectrum, is grim. That is that Mr. Trump as president behaves as Mr. Trump as candidate, relying on his instincts and believing he is smarter than the generals, diplomats and Republican mainstream. After all, he won an election by ignoring advice from experts. Moreover, those Republicans who merely pay lip service to NATO and Ukraine go along with him. In that case, one could see a major-and dangerous-departure in U.S. policy toward Ukraine, Russia and Europe.
"I hope Mr. Trump's policy in office will be close to the first scenario but worry that it will land near the second," Pifer concluded.
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