Pavel K. Baev
Instead of granting Trump a “victory” by offering some minor compromises, he opted to play a strong and confident leader—and the predictable backlash has taken him by surprise. The desire to score a public relations triumph prevailed over an elementary assessment of the consequences. And this vanity reveals that Putin is by no means a master-statesman, much the same way as he was a rather unexceptional KGB operative. While intending to harvest dividends from his “beautiful friendship” with Trump, Putin’s political greed all but guarantees further deterioration of US-Russian relations.
The summit between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last Monday (July 16) continues to generate strong international resonance, despite apparently producing few if any tangible results. In Washington, politicians and experts are at odds about interpreting Trump’s bonhomie wit…