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Trump and Putin: between collaboration and mistrust

The sympathies of the President of the United States with his Russian counterpart can mean new sanctions to Moscow

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Trump and Putin: between collaboration and mistrust

The feeling that Russian President Vladimir Putin gives soups with Honda to American Donald Trump can brighten children's Kremlin propagandists, but tanned politicians cause m rar fear, because an American president who Can be identified with current Russia and accused of traitor by political class of his country is not a good ally for Russia. With his support for Putin, Trump can give additional arguments to his opponents in Democratic Party and provoke new sanctions against Russia.

Moscow aspires to benefit from Trump's personal sympathy for Putin, but he knows that agreements with him will only be stable if y extend and are taken over by institutions and above all by Congress. The Kremlin is thus faced with complicated dilemma of trying to support American leader in a way that does not provoke new suspicions on his enemies, while waiting for autumn elections to calibrate his institutional support.

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No one had high hopes for Helsinki summit beyond its very celebration. Until today it is unclear wher its outcome may even be a worsening of Washington-Moscow relations following Putin's short-term image success. In Helsinki Russian leader was able to fulfill rituals of power coined during Cold War. Namely, discussion of world affairs on an equal footing between two superpowers possessing planet's largest atomic arsenals.

The opinion about Trump differs in different segments of Russian political spectrum. In liberal sectors in opposition (minority) it is seen as a disgrace its low sensitivity to observance of human rights and its apparent disregard for Russia's expansionist policy in Ukraine. In official sectors, y commend ir willingness to improve ir relationship with Russia and dream of a new order, a new Yalta adapted to 21st century and a new redistribution of spheres of influence between Moscow and Washington.

The Kremlin-affiliated propagandists and commentators express satisfaction at US president's clashes with his NATO allies. But se joys may be precipitated, because a disunited Atlantic alliance can be a source of cumbersome additional regional problems for Russia as well. Moreover, if those who feel threatened by Russian giant are not sufficiently defended by a common security umbrella, y will tend to organize ir defense by or channels and can multiply risks.

In order to remain in channels of foreseeable, it is urgent to resume disarmament negotiations

The sober Russian experts saw in meeting of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Helsinki an occasion to restart institutional dialogue between Washington and Moscow, at least in fields where risks of lack of that dialogue are more dangerous, as is Arms race. To stay in way of foreseeable, it is urgent to resume disarmament negotiations to widen or correct medium and short-range Missile Treaty signed in 1987 by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, and to prolong offensive weapons agreement Strategic (START) signed in 2010 by Dmitri Medvedev and Barack Obama. And it is also necessary to channel all new types of armaments that Putin likes to mention in a negotiating framework that includes American missile defense.

Putin spoke of "first steps to clean up" bilateral relationship and Trump stated that Helsinki meeting was "beginning of a long process" and predicted new appointments (on Wednesday White House announced that next meeting was postponed until beginning of 2019), But leaders did not sign any communiqué and used little binding formulas to indicate various lines of dialogue y want to develop. Some of m may be as ephemeral as creation of a joint cybersecurity group, an idea on which two leaders spoke in Hamburg in July 2017. In Helsinki, Putin reminded Trump of those plans that American had recanted under pressures of Republicans and Democrats.

Kremlin discourse omits annexation of Crimea and military interference in Ukraine

One of fundamental problems between Russia and United States is how to achieve effective collaboration in a previously delimited field, taking into account exacerbated level of mistrust between two countries. How to limit disagreements so that y do not overflow or expand, but also not be ignored or forgotten? The Kremlin's discourse on anti-Russian hysteria omits key episodes in history of recent years, such as annexation of Crimea and military interference in Ukraine. If armaments are spoken, how do we make collaboration and mistrust compatible through strict and solvent verification formulas?

The United States and USSR, two great opponents of Cold War, came to be understood about disarmament, but this was done on backdrop of progressive mutual confidence generated by Perestroika of Mikhail Gorbachev, which in international field was tantamount to putting The interests of mankind over interests of nation. It does not matter that initial cause of that process was difficulty of USSR to maintain costs of arms race. Now dynamics of events go or way and leaders put interests of ir nations before collectives, be y allies or competitors.

With motto America First, Trump tries to reformat American policy to obtain economic advantages; In name of Russia's interests, Putin asserts patrimonial and Imperial conceptions in post-Soviet space. Under se conditions, realistic expectations are very limited, but if intentions of meeting again and launching arms control talks are made, that will be a hopeful sign for veteran statesmen and experts who, in Russia and United States focus ir efforts on maintaining open channels of communication from a sense of shared responsibility for global security.

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