CROSSTALK: Syria and Ukraine are thorny issues for U.S. and Russia
It seems that U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will finally meet for a formal summit in July, probably in Austria or another European country. It’s been a long time coming, thanks to an unprecedented and so far successful campaign to prevent any rapprochement or substantial cooperation between the world’s two top nuclear powers.
Why the shift now? One explanation is Mr. Trump’s rising popularity due to economic and other domestic policy successes. Even The New York Times admits that the U.S. economy is the strongest it’s been in years. On the foreign
stage Mr. Trump’s triumph in breaking the Korean logjam shows that perhaps he knows more than so-called “experts” who have been loudly screaming about his ignorance of international affairs.
Most importantly, with the “Russiagate” narrative collapsing Mr. Trump may now feel freer to move on one of the key items of his campaign agenda, which is to improve U.S.-Russia relations. He rightly believes that only “haters and fools do not understand that getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
The “Russian collusion” narrative is increasingly being unmasked as a baseless fabrication and is ever more eclipsed by exposure of criminal wrongdoing within the Department of Justice and Jim Comey’s FBI. More and more Americans realize that it was not Mr. Trump who undermined our democracy but the Obama-Clinton political machine that, in the best Soviet tradition, chose
which candidate would be nominated, with the
intelligence services geared up to assure his (in this case her) victory.
Make no mistake, though, resistance to better ties with Russia is not gone. No top official, either career or politically appointed, except possibly U.S. Ambassador in Moscow Jon Huntsman, appears to shares Mr. Trump’s desire to make a deal with Mr. Putin. Between now and the summit one can expect efforts to derail it.
Still, there are issues that are sure to be raised one way or the other.
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