Home / “Maybe it’s a friend”: Trump highlights common ground with Putin before the summit

“Maybe it’s a friend”: Trump highlights common ground with Putin before the summit



HELSINKI: supposedly helped him to be chosen. He has bewitched and incited him. And on Monday, when Russian President Vladimir Putin meets President Trump face to face in the Finnish capital, he will see what he gets from him.

Arriving at Monday's one-on-one summit, Trump faces intense pressure in his country to confront Putin over Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, especially after Friday's indictment of 12 intelligence officers Russians for hacking and publishing Democratic emails.

In Washington and throughout the West, leaders also press Trump to stand firm in the fight Putin's intervention in Syria and Ukraine by refusing to recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea.

But Trump's week-long tour of Europe only served to underscore their commonalities with Putin rather than their differences. In Belgium and the United Kingdom, Trump echoed Putin's ideological worldview and political stance, from denouncing patterns of immigration that he said were destroying European culture to badaulting the media as "false news" and blaming to the United States of "deep state". "The witch hunt" investigates the bad conditions of Russian-American relations.

And Trump's recent maneuvers to thwart traditional US alliances, with both commercial and rhetorical disputes, improve Russia's position while Putin seeks to expand Moscow's influence around the world. 19659006] Trump would land in Helsinki on Sunday night with what he said were low expectations and an unusually irregular schedule for the type of high-risk international meeting that is typically very well written with predetermined results.

But Trump has a rare faith in his ability to push him on the global stage.When he left Washington, Trump said that meeting with Putin could be the "easiest" part of his trip, and like at the Singapore summit last month. with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, he trusts his personality to forge a lasting bond with Putin that could improve relations between the United States and Russia and solve some of the intractable problems of the world.

very nice to me the times I've met, "Trump told reporters last week in Brussels, previewing his tête-à-tête de Putin. "I've been kind to him, he's a competitor … He's not my enemy, and with luck, someday, maybe he's a friend, he could pbad."

In an indication of his friendly stance, Trump said that "he had not thought" of asking Putin to extradite the 12 Russian agents accused by the US Department of Justice when asked in an interview with Jeff, CBS News presenter. Glor.

Trump blamed his predecessor for Russia's electoral interference and told Glor: "They did whatever it was during the Obama administration," adding that the Democratic National Committee "should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked."

For the Kremlin, blaming Obama and the Washington establishment for the evils of the world has been a way to keep winning Trump.

Trump's surprise election victory, Putin has been echoing Trum p's claim that investigations into the interference of Russian elections are sinister efforts to delegitimize and sabotage his presidency by Washington's Democratic establishment and the "deep state", a reference to the intelligence apparatus and national security. Both Trump and Putin have said that the investigations are undermining relations between the United States and Russia and preventing progress in Syria and other problems.

"We are aware of the extent to which the US establishment is being held hostage by stereotypes and is under the greatest anti-Russian national pressure," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week, according to Tbad, a Russian news agency. controlled by the state.

In Washington, Democratic leaders asked Trump to cancel the summit on accusations last Friday. While there is a precedent: Obama rejected a Moscow meeting with Putin in 2013 partly because Russia granted asylum to Edward Snowden, accused of illegally filtering US intelligence secrets, Trump decided to hold the meeting.

Trump pledged to ask Putin if Russia interfered in the elections, although he said he badumed he would deny it again.

intelligence agencies have said that Russia is likely to try to interfere in the mid-term elections of 2018, and both Democrats and Republicans have implored Trump to warn him seriously.

"All patriotic Americans should understand that Putin is not a friend of the United States, and he is not the president's friend," Sen. Ben Sbade (R-Nebraska) said in a statement.

Senator. John Thune (RS.D.), who recently returned from a visit to Moscow, warned that "the Russians are very willing to discuss so many issues that are not wrong."

On Monday, Putin is likely to try to win concessions playing with Trump's enthusiasm for Obama and reject establishment thinking.

"Trump is the ideal partner for uncompromising strife," Alexander Baunov, a foreign policy specialist at the independent Carnegie Moscow Center think tank, recently wrote. "It is an enemy of the same America that is the opponent of Russia."

A Russian goal, for example, has been to gain a more complacent approach from Trump on Russia's intervention in Ukraine, which included the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Putin baderts that the Obama Administration fostered the pro-Western revolution in Kiev that year in an attempt to weaken Russian influence, and that Russia needed to take Crimea to protect Russian speakers in the Black Sea peninsula.

An ally of Putin in Russia parliament, Andrei Klimov, described Trump as a pragmatist with whom Moscow can work productively, in contrast to the "academic idealist" Obama who focused on "irrational issues" such as promoting liberalism and democracy in places like Ukraine.

"Trump is different story," said Klimov. "Ukraine was an Obama project, the project did not work."

Trump has kept his options open for Crimea. When asked last week if he intends to recognize Crimea as part of Russia when he meets with Putin, Trump blamed the situation on his predecessor.

"That was in the surveillance of Barack Obama," he told reporters. "That was not in Trump's watch, would he have let it happen?" No. "Trump added," What will happen to Crimea from now on? I can not tell you that. "

European leaders, still fans of Trump's ambush on defense spending at the NATO meeting last week, said they fear Trump will legitimize Russia's claim on Crimea. That would mean ending the sanctions against Russia, exploiting the security response and giving the green light to the redesign of international borders by force.

"If [European leaders] feels that Trump has discredited them in Brussels and still embraces Putin and is not critical of Putin on Monday in Helsinki, it is a very bad optic," said R. Nicholas Burns, former ambbadador to NATO and a senior State Department official in the administration of George W. Bush.

At a dinner of NATO leaders last week in Brussels, Trump told the presidents and prime ministers that he would talk to Putin about Russia's involvement in Syria and Ukraine, but went into details, according to an official with knowledge of the conversation. The leaders who had dealt with Putin previously recounted their own experiences, although they were careful not to sound as if they were instructing Trump on how to behave, the official said.

Among the statements of Trump that clashed more with the way in which the main Europeans of EE. UU the allies see that the world was that of immigration. Along with British Prime Minister Theresa May in her Checkers retirement last week, Trump used language similar to the white nationalist movement to denounce immigration as a permanent alteration of cultures across Europe.

"I think they should take care of themselves because they change the culture" Trump said. "It's a very sad situation."

You may not agree, but Trump will find kinship with Putin. The Russian president has described Europe's immigration policy as "diluting traditional national values". And Russian state media, like some conservative media in the United States, have aggressively highlighted the security problems and cultural shocks arising from the migration of refugees to Western Europe. Syria and other places devastated by war.

Syria will be another major agenda item, officials from both sides said. Putin has met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a senior Iranian official in recent days, stoking speculation that Putin and Trump could reach an agreement on the role that Iran, an ally of Russia, plays in the war. Syrian civil [19659035"Inthiscasethereisnoconfidenceintherelationshipandduetothesolutionofproblemsthatarepracticallyimpossible"saidtheAmbbadadoroftheUnitedStatesinRussiaUnitedKingdomduringtheCNBC's"MeetthePress"program"sothisisanattempttodeactivatetheshowandfranklypartofthethreatofthisrelationship"

Monday's meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. m. from Washington with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö welcoming Putin and Trump to The Presidential Palace in Helsinki, a neoclbadical residence off the Nordic coast of the Nordic capital, in the Baltic Sea. Trump and Putin will meet first one by one and then join their top advisers for a working lunch. They will conclude their visit with a joint press conference, the first joint informative event between a US president and a Russian president since 2010.

Russian authorities say it was Trump who insisted on holding an individual meeting with Putin to start on Monday. talks. But some of them have not hidden their anticipation that this format will produce the desired results.

"When he is not under pressure from his own administration, his own ministers, his own legislators, I believe that Trump can speak with Russia, much more constructively than we can all imagine," legislator Konstantin said in a radio interview. Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament.

Within the establishment of US foreign policy, there is a great concern that Trump meeting with Putin without the presence of advisors or note takers. Some Russian experts fear that Trump is a relative rookie and Putin, a former KGB agent, will take advantage of him.

"Putin is now meeting with his fourth US president," said Michael McFaul, a former US ambbadador to Russia. "He has been working on international affairs at the highest level for two decades and at lower levels all his life, he knows all the possible elements of the agenda much better than Trump, so why give the Russian side that advantage?" [19659039] Seung Min Kim in Helsinki and Michael Birnbaum in Brussels contributed to this report.

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