Russian President Vladimir Putin participates in a meeting with members of the Government, in Moscow, Russia, on December 26, 2017. ALEXEY NIKOLSKY EFE

MOSCOW (Conspiracy Talk News) – Russia ends 2017 with the proclamation of a victory over the Islamic State in Syria, but also with great disappointment: the arrival of Donald Trump to the White House has not served to improve bilateral relations, but quite the opposite.

Russian President Vladimir Putin personally certified the victory over the jihadists with a surprise trip to the Syrian air base within Jmeimim, where he was met by Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, and announced the beginning of the withdrawal of forces that Russia has deployed in the Arab country.

“If the terrorists raise their heads again, we will beat them as they have not seen it until now,” the Kremlin chief said, speaking to the military.

Putin’s trip to Syria came a few days after he announced his decision on December 6th, an open secret, to run for re-election on March 18th, 2018 elections for another six-year term.

His re-election is considered in Russia something as natural as autumn follows winter, regardless of whether one likes it or not.

The successes of Putin’s policy in Syria contrast with the loss of Russian positions in the West, which are worsening in relations with Washington, and are at their lowest point in recent decades.

A year ago, Russian deputies called to celebrate with champagne the electoral victory of Trump against the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, hoping that this would help, if not to eliminate, at least to alleviate the sanctions against Russia for the annexation of Crimea and his interference in the Ukrainian crisis.

These illusions not only vanished: to the regime as allegations about the alleged interference of Moscow in the US presidential campaign, which have already claimed several casualties in the Trump circle.

The tone of the allegations, which highlight the existence of contacts between members of the Trump campaign with the now former Russian ambassador in Washington, Sergey Kislyak, cut the maneuvering field of the US president.

Although Putin and Trump have spoken on the phone several times and have met a couple of times in the framework of international summits, the Russian-American dialogue has been reduced to a minimum and there are no prospects or indications for improvement anytime soon.

Russia has been accused of trying to interfere not only in the United States presidential campaign, but also in the European electoral processes.

Moscow attributes these accusations to a “phobia in the West” and its desire to contain an increasingly strong and influential Russia in the international arena.

Among the major setbacks for Russia in the past year is undoubtedly the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the doping of Russian team of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be played in the South Korean city of PyeongChang.

The IOC determined that Russian athletes will be able to compete only “on an individual basis and under strict conditions”, without their flag or their anthem.

Doping has taken a toll on Russia: weeks before the exclusion of its selection from the PyeongChang Games, Russia saw how the World Anti-Doping Agency disqualified several of its athletes and deprived them of their medals at the Sochi Olympiad 2014, and descended from first place in the medal table to the fourth.

In the macroeconomic environment, 2017 was a good year for Russia: despite international sanctions, the growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country is expected to be close to 2 percent, while inflation will be minus 4 percent, the lowest figure in its post-Soviet history.

The ruble, the national currency, has remained stable thanks to the rebound in oil prices, one of the main export products of the country.

However, the income of the population falls for the fourth consecutive year, although the rate of this fall has decreased: in 2016 this was 5.9 percent, in the first 10 months it has been 1.3 percent, According to data from the Ministry of Economy.


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