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Trump And The World

Special Relationships, A Duo's Dynamics

Trump and May
Trump and May
Roy Greenburgh

— Analysis —

To be clear from the start: No, he is not Ronald Reagan and she is not Margaret Thatcher — and this certainly is not 1981. Still, any false analogies aside, today's White House meeting between brand new U.S. President Donald Trump and newish British Prime Minister Theresa May is charged with the kind of high stakes that tend to evoke the ghosts of history.

Much will no doubt be said about the Anglo-American "special relationship," which helps explain why May will be the first foreign leader to meet Trump since last Friday's inauguration. There will also be common ground claimed on fighting terrorism and reviving economic growth. Indeed, the vote for Brexit — which May is now administering — as well as Trump's election, have both prompted positive news from markets.

But there is much that divides the two new leaders, both in style and substance. May is a career establishment politician known for her caution and understatement. Trump is Trump. The American leader has spent the first week in office making it very clear that his overturn-these-tables campaign promises, both at home and abroad, were for real. Already, what was supposed to be his next big White House welcome, of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been canceled following the bombastic back-and-forth about Trump's plans to build a wall on the U.S. southern border, and make Mexico pay for it.

Back on the other side of the Atlantic, May has not only made it clear that she disagrees with Trump's declaration that NATO is "obsolete," but that she suggests a much different stance on Russia from the apparent coziness of the new U.S. president. May described her approach yesterday as "engage but beware."

Tim Bale, a politics professor at Queen Mary University of London, told The Washington Post that the Trump-May relationship is bound to be different than the Reagan-Thatcher duo. "The problem is that Ronnie and Maggie had a common enemy in the Soviet Union and world communism." It's worth noting that after bidding adieu to May, next on Trump's agenda is a Saturday telephone call with Vladimir Putin.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Why Poland's Break With Ukraine Weakens All Enemies Of Russia — Starting With Poland

Poland’s decision to stop sending weapons to Ukraine is being driven by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party's short-term electoral calculus. Yet the long-term effects on the world stage could deeply undermine the united NATO front against Russia, and the entire Western coalition.

Photo of ​Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Bartosz T. Wieliński


WARSAW — Poland has now moved from being the country that was most loudly demanding that arms be sent to Ukraine, to a country that has suddenly announced it was withholding military aid. Even if Poland's actions won't match Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s words, the government has damaged the standing of our country in the region, and in NATO.

“We are no longer providing arms to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland,” the prime minister declared on Polsat news on Wednesday evening. He didn’t specify which type of arms he was referring to, but his statement was quickly spread on social media by leading figures of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

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When news that Poland would be withholding arms to Ukraine made their way to the headlines of the most important international media outlets, no politician from PiS stepped in to refute the prime minister’s statement. Which means that Morawiecki said exactly what he meant to say.

The era of tight Polish-Ukrainian collaboration, militarily and politically, has thus come to an end.

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