US relations with Russia and the Philippines have softened in the wake of Trump’s victory on Tuesday, with both Putin and Duterte offering their congratulations.
“Trump spoke about resuming and restoring relations with Russia,” said Vladimir Putin. “We understand the way to that will be difficult, taking into account the current state of degradation of relations between the US and Russia.”
“As I have repeatedly said, that is not our fault that Russia-US relations are in that state,” he continued. However, “Russia is ready and wants to restore full-fledged relations with the US. We understand this won’t be an easy path, but we are ready to play our part in it.”
Relations between the US and longtime ally the Philippines have also soured during Obama’s presidency, and the situation has been particularly tense since President Rodrigo Duterte called Obama a “son of a bitch” in September.
The controversial Filipino leader announced in October that his alliance with the US was over, but Trump’s victory seems to have erased Duterte’s animosity: “I would like to congratulate Presdient Trump. Long live! Now we’re here, I don’t want to … fight because Trump is already there.”
In October, Duterte claimed there would be no more military drills between the US and the Philippines. On Wednesday, he announced that most military exercises would be back on schedule sometime “next year,” adding that he and Trump have something in common.
“We both like to swear. One little thing, we curse right away, we’re the same,” said Duterte.
Philippines National Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana confirmed that military exercises would be back on track with the exception of assault exercises and some bilateral drills. The two nations will instead focus on joint training.
“As far as possible he wants to get out of all fighting with the US so that he minimizes the collateral cost to the China relationship. That’s the game he’s playing,” said Euan Graham, a security expert at Sydney’s Lowy Institute.
Military officials from both nations will convene on November 22nd to hammer out the details for next year’s military drills.
Editor’s note: Trump makes many leaders more comfortable, he is male, he is successful and he is not embarrassed to be who he is. The Obama “apology tour” hurt America’s ability to do deals in many countries, because they couldn’t relate to that lack of confidence and his discomfort with representing power.