The summit with the participation of presidents may not have specific solutions, but at the same time do great damage to NATO and US foreign policy.Photo by Mikhail Klementyev, AFP, Getty Images
American, European and Russian journalists have argued for almost a year: when Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin finally hold full-fledged negotiations, rather than a brief conversation in the margins of a people’s summit. However, now in the West, they fear that this meeting can further break the post-war system of relations between the US and Europe, having remained inconclusive.
It is unclear what Putin and Trump will discuss
The Kremlin press service officially announced that Putin and Trump will meet on July 16 in Helsinki. The program of the summit is indicated only by general words: a discussion of topical issues and the “state and prospects for the further development of Russian-American relations.”
According to Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov, Trump and Putin will spend a few hours alone in the middle of the day (Helsinki coincides with Moscow). Then there will be a protocol event, probably a joint press conference.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that at a meeting with Putin Trump will try to find intersections in American and Russian interests. He added that the president of the United States will defend those positions that he considers important, but do not overlap with the tasks of Russia.
According to Trump, he can also discuss with Putin conflicts in Syria and Ukraine (which issues the US and Russia are going to resolve in these problem areas are unknown). He noted that he was going to study the reaction of his Russian colleague on different topics.
We will talk about many other issues. And we’ll see what happens. You can not know [in advance]
Previously, Putin and Trump already communicated during other international events (for example, the G20 summit ) in the format of short-term talks, but their meeting in Helsinki should be the first official talks between the two heads of state.
The meeting between Putin and Trump with Russia worries both Americans and Europeans
The summit in Helsinki will take place after the congress of the leaders of the NATO countries in Brussels. The authors of the New York Post and The Washington Postnoted that the Helsinki talks aroused fears of both American and European opponents of Trump. They allegedly can “overshadow” themselves Brussels and raise new questions about Trump’s commitment to “traditional American alliances.”
Among the European opponents of Trump, there have recently been two leading NATO forces in Europe – France and Germany. Their conflict intensified against the backdrop of the June G7 summit in Canada, when Trump forbade US officials to sign a final communiqué protesting against the statements of the Canadian prime minister.
Sources of The New York Times in the US administration said that Trump’s statement for the NATO summit is already being developed. According to the drafts of this text, the US president must confirm adherence to the “order based on the rules.”
The interlocutors of NYT also noted that Trump can “throw overboard” their developments, as he did in 2017. Then he threw out of his speech the words about the maintenance of the “Fifth Article” – the basic principle of the treaty on the North Atlantic alliance, according to which all its participants undertake to repel the military aggression of a third party against one of the allies.
The summit was prepared by a radical military diplomat who considers the US the only superpower
Preparations for the Trump-Putin meeting on the part of the United States were conducted by Presidential Adviser on National Security John Bolton, who in the mid-2000s represented the United States in the UN. Then he was an ardent opponent of this organization: “There is no such thing as the UN, there is only an international community that can lead only the world’s only superpower, which is the United States.”
American publications point out that Bolton was a “hawk” all his life: in the United States they call militarist leaders who are primarily inclined to choose military ways to resolve conflicts. Trump’s adviser was one of the ideologists of the US invasion of Iraq and still refuses to acknowledge the fallacy of this decision.
Before Bolton spoke very sharply about Russia and Putin. In 2016, he described the possible interference of Moscow in the American elections as “a real act of war that Washington will not tolerate.”
Putin lies, based on the best [techniques received during] training in the KGB.
However, on June 27, speaking at a press conference after a preliminary meeting with Putin, Bolton said that he would not address his previous statements: “I am now an advisor to President Trump, and we are guided by his agenda . ” He noted that the personal position of his boss, who allegedly called Crimea Russian, is not a US position.
Bolton also refused to consider that the meeting between Trump and Putin in any way proves the connection between the poling headquarters of the politician and the Kremlin – the adviser to the US president called such theories “utter nonsense”.
According to Bolton, during the meeting with Putin, he did not discuss the question of Russia’s return to the G8, which Trump considers unavoidable even without theimplementation of the Minsk agreements and the resolution of the Crimean question. At the same time, Bolton suggested that presidents could touch on this topic at the talks.
Many opponents of the president tried to gain political capital on theories and assumptions, which turned out to be completely erroneous. I think that the president decided: in spite of political clamor in the United States, a direct link between him and President Putin will be in the interest of the United States.
According to Bolton, he does not expect that the summit in Helsinki will have any concrete consequences. Low expectations from the meeting, despite Trump’s desire to establish relations with Russia, also noted the agency Reuters.