Russia celebrates Donald Trump’s inauguration

Moscow, Jan 20 (IANS) Russians hoping that Donald Trump will usher in a new era of ties marked his inauguration on Friday with high hopes as nightclubs and bars here called parties to celebrate the day.

“We just like to celebrate anything, our holidays, foreign holidays, the beginning of improvement of Russia-US relations, any reason is good to celebrate,” Irina Baikalova told ABC News as she sipped on a cocktail at Arbat 13 nightclub in Moscow.

A crowd of Russian and foreign clubbers watched as Willi Tokarev, a famed Russian-American singer-songwriter, performed his new song, “Trumplissimo America!”

“Trump, Trump — it is unbelievable. Trump, Trump, he’s a superman, Trump, Trump — symbol of America. Trump, Trump, he’s really president,” Tokarev sang.

Tokarev told ABC News he composed the song and wrote the lyrics after he said he was asked to by mutual friends whom he shares with Trump. “You cannot imagine how much people love Trump, both in the States and here,” Tokarev said.

The tiny town of Tula, about 120 miles outside of Moscow, appeared especially taken with Trumpmania. There, a guesthouse was named for the incoming American President and featured a restaurant with a Trump-centred menu. There was even a Trump band, which performed last night at Arbat 13 in Moscow, reported ABC News.

Trump-branded sugar cubes were specially made in Tula. There’s talk of presenting them to the new US President to “sweeten our relations with the United States,” according to Sergei Selaev, the general manager of Tula Produkt, the plant that manufactured them.

Across from the US embassy in central Moscow, the official Russian Army supply store put up a poster with Trump’s picture, offering Inauguration Day discounts of 10 per cent to all American citizens and US embassy employees.

Then there was the Trump commemorative coin, valued at $10,000 and emblazoned with his likeness and the words “In Trump we trust.” Only 45 coins were made — 25 silver coins, five gold and 15 that were silver and gold.

The coins were made by Art-Grani, a Russian metal-working company based 650 miles outside of Moscow.

There is a broad feeling in Russia’s political and business elites that relations with Washington just can’t get any worse, reported CBS News on Friday.

“Russia hopes that under Trump there will be no ideology, no attempts to lecture about democracy, human rights and rights of smaller nations around its borders … but primarily deal with economic issues in a businesslike way and even tacitly divide spheres of influence,” said Alexei Arbatov, a senior researcher with the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, a government-funded Moscow think-tank.

“Putin and Obama spoke different languages, they didn’t understand one another. There is a hope that Trump and Putin will speak the same language, even though their positions may differ,” Arbatov said.

Earlier on Friday, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that while Trump’s policy towards Russia is unclear, “we are hoping that reason will prevail.”

“We are ready to do our share of the work in order to improve the relationship,” Medvedev said.

–IANS

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