NEWSWATCH: “The Biggest News about the Trump-Putin Meeting Was That It Happened At All. A relatively normal first meeting between Russian and American leaders is a good thing.” – The National Interest/ Andrew Kuchins

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… Trump finally had the opportunity to meet … Putin for more than two hours … at the G-20 summit …. The meeting was newsworthy mainly because it happened …. for a bilateral relationship that had degraded to a more dangerous kind of postmodern Cold War since the Russian seizure of Crimea more than three years ago, and a vicious whirlwind of Russophobia in Washington … a relatively normal first meeting between Russian and American leaders is a good thing. … Trump was smart to ask Putin right off the bat whether Russia had interfered in the U.S. presidential election. … readouts from Putin and … Lavrov, on this topic certainly differ from … Tillerson’s characterization …. Putin and Trump … did apparently agree to establish a bilateral working group on cybersecurity to try to clarify the ‘rules of the road,’ including a framework for noninterference in each country’s domestic affairs. … Don’t expect any major breakthroughs soon …. It has been reported that the majority of the discussion centered on Syria. … * * * The improvement of U.S.-Russia relations, in the best of cases, will be a long and winding road. One of my favorite Russian expressions is pozhivem, uvidem: ‘We will wait and see.’ Whether this first meeting between Putin and Trump will mark a real turning point remains to be seen; we will just have to wait and see.”

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