NATO? NATO! Trump hosts Stoltenberg

NATO? NATO! Trump hosts Stoltenberg

The tone of Wednesday‘s meeting between Donald Trump and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will be much friendlier than it would’ve

Photo: AFP/Thierry Charlier/Getty

Photo: AFP/Thierry Charlier/Getty

The tone of Wednesday‘s meeting between Donald Trump and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will be much friendlier than it would’ve been a week ago.

While Mr Trump has previously been critical of NATO, the recent strike against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad could prove a game changer; the US intervention has severely dented relations between Washington and Moscow; on Tuesday, Russia’s foreign ministry said relations are “the most difficult since the end of the Cold War”.

NATO members meanwhile fully supported the strike, with some of the most vocal backing coming from Eastern Europe and the Baltics; Lithuania’s president insisted that “both Assad and Russia must know the red lines”. Washington’s willingness to oppose Russia in Syria will quell fears about a US-Russia rapprochement, at least temporarily.

With relations between the Cold War adversaries deteriorating once more, Stoltenberg shouldn’t find it too difficult to explain the importance of a strong NATO to Trump. By putting Russia back on the map, Putin may have accidentally reawakened the US-Europe alliance as well.

Dig deeper: The future of Russia-NATO confrontations in cyberspace