Paul J. Saunders
Putin’s very public invitation to Trump to visit Moscow may look like a no-lose proposition for the Russian president. On the surface, Putin’s invitation appears reciprocal—like Trump, he is expressing interest in another summit meeting.
…One level below this, Putin’s invitation demonstrates to Russia’s elites and public that their president has a new line of communication with his American counterpart, something essentially rejected by the Obama administration following Russia’s seizure of Crimea and later intervention in eastern Ukraine.
…Two levels down, the Russian president has further stoked American anxieties about U.S.-Russia relations and especially Trump’s contacts with Putin.
If the Kremlin wants a less hostile United States, then its leaders may do well to spend considerably more time assessing the predictable consequences of Russia’s actions.