Russia on Wednesday welcomed Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election with a “great sense of relief,” a prominent Western investor in Moscow said.
“There was a real sense that with Hillary Clinton the Cold War would have returned,” Chris Weafer, a senior partner at Russian-focused investment consultancy Macro Advisory said.
“Clinton’s “reset” of U.S.-Russian relations during her time as the top U.S. diplomat tragically unravelled and she had harsh words for Russia during her presidential campaign.
“Clinton instilled a “fear that her team would have been very tough with Russia and raise the risk of a real confrontation,” Weafer said.
Russia’s benchmark MICEX stock index rose steadily on the news of a Trump victory, while other financial indicators around the world fell and investors sought haven in bets on gold.
Weafer, however, cautioned against speculation of a Russian economic resurgence despite the news, as prices for the country’s main export, oil, remain relatively low and Western sanctions stay in place.
A Trump presidency will not solve Russia’s economic problems, “but at least it should not make them worse,” Weafer said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first to congratulate Trump, saying he hoped to “bring US-Russian relations out of their state of crisis”.