Monday, December 3, 2018

As Long as Trump is President, Putin has No Reason to Meet with Him, Moscow Foreign Policy Expert Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 3 – Donald Trump’s decision not to meet with Vladimir Putin in Argentina represented a loss for both sides because it is important to discuss problems when they are as serious as they have become in recent days thanks to what Moscow describes as the American provocation in the Kerch Straits, Veronnika Krasheninnikova says.

            But at the same time, the head of the Moscow Institute for Foreign Policy Research and Initiatives tells Moscow’s Argumenty i Fakty, Putin has little reason to hold another meeting with Trump, because Trump can’t deliver and any meeting will only further reduce his effectiveness in that regard.

            “In fact,” Krasheninnikova says, “as long as President Trump is in power, nothing positive in US-Russian relations can occur. In spite of illusory expectations, his administration in the future will in the future increase tensions and continue its pressure on our country (

                “Trump may even believe what he says” about wanting to improve relations with Moscow. “But Trump is someone who lives according to myths he puts out. He believes in his own myths and stories. Therefore, one must not trust him from the very outset,” the well-connected Russian foreign policy specialist says.

            Instead, Krasheninnikova continues, one should “trust” what other US officials like Kurt Volker say when they suggest that Washington will increase pressure on Russia; and Moscow should look to developing relations with other world leaders rather than trying to pursue some “summit” with Trump.

            Even if Putin and Trump were to meet, she argues, “nothing positive would occur.” In fact, any one-one-one sessions in the current environment would “only harm relations.”  If Trump were to meet with Putin alone, that would only “become the occasion for a new portion of accusations against the president of a conspiracy with Russia.”

            “Such accusations,” Krasheninnikova says, “we do not need” because they would only lead to a further deterioration in the relationship and still more American sanctions on Russia.

            Of course, she concludes, “we are open for dialogue, but now we must not seek a meeting with Trump. At the current stage, it would not decide anything. In this sense for the immediate future, one must put a cross on America. Russia needs to involve itself with ties with other countries and other regions of the world.”

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