“The outcomes are always good whenever President Trump meets world leaders, be it Putin, Xi Jinping or North Korean [Kim Jong-un],” political analyst Andre Vltchek commented, speaking on the outcome of the high-profile gathering in Osaka but noting that, in a week or a month, Trump could wake up and tweet something on Venezuela, North Korea that completely contradicts his earlier words.
“There was a lot of theatrics going on” at the G20, Paul Ingram, executive director of the British American Security Information Council, pointed out.
Donald Trump was saying a lot of things that were clearly designed to make the headlines. But what’s really going on underneath here is anybody’s guess.
Regardless of what path the US leader chooses next, it’s already important that Moscow and Washington are talking, especially, on such important issue as arms control, Ingram said. With the US already withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and considering ditching the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), “the likelihood is that we could easily have deployments of new nuclear-capable missiles in Europe, which is terrifying many European countries right now.”
ALSO ON RT.COMA daunting agenda… sprinkled with wisecracks: Highlights from the Trump-Putin G20 talksTrump pulling out of those landmark non-proliferation deals shows that there’s “no awareness in the US president’s head about how much effort it takes to negotiate these treaties,” he added.
After the INF withdrawal, “I don’t know how much Russia can still trust the US,” Vltchek cautioned.
Obviously, Russia has no other choice but to try its best, for the sake of its own people and for the sake of the world, to push the US to negotiate.
Vltchek believes that “the most important [thing now] is to keep Donald Trump as optimistic for at least one year, until the next ‘great’ meeting between him and Putin will happen, on May 9, 2020.” During the G20, Vladimir Putin invited his US counterpart to come to Moscow for next spring’s Victory Day celebrations, and Trump reportedly “responded very positively” to the idea.
ALSO ON RT.COM‘Great guy’ Putin had ‘good’ meeting with Trump: Russia & US leaders applaud their G20 meetingWhile in Osaka, Trump again declared his willingness to solve the US-Korea deadlock, even saying that he wanted to meet Kim at the demilitarized zone between the South and the North of the peninsula. the Korean settlement “requires more than chummy personal relations between the [Trump and Kim],” Ingram warned, noting the process needs “understanding the pathways that lead a country like north Korea to acquire nuclear weapons.”
Washington’s behavior in the Korean negotiations is the same behavior that prevents resolution of other disputes worldwide, Vltchek stressed. “All the doors are open – from Russia, from China, from North Korea… their leaders are willing to negotiate. It’s always the US which backs up and starts to push for its either economical superiority or – I hate to use the word – for its imperialist interests.”
ALSO ON RT.COM‘Time will tell’: Trump not sure he is ready to stop China trade war, despite ‘excellent’ Xi meeting“Diplomacy is much better than war or conflict… but behind the rhetoric is always national interests,” political analyst Andrew Leung pointed out. The aspirations of Washington, Moscow and Beijing are different, so “common ground [must be found], but then, of course, the Trump administration believes that America has dominating strength on many fronts and it’s prepared to use this strength to push the envelope for ‘America first.’”
“Trumping this kind of attitude that the strong dictates the policies and the weak has simply to obey doesn’t sit well with many other countries,” Leung warned.
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‘Excellent results’? Trump-Putin G20 meeting sounds like Helsinki summit that saw relations sour
Putin and Trump talked for an hour and a half on Friday, in a meeting Trump described as “interesting” and “excellent.” The Kremlin echoed the sentiment, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling the chat “intensive,” and promising to officially invite Trump to Moscow for World War II Victory celebrations next year.
Both presidents certainly seemed comfortable in each other’s presence, with Trump jokingly wagging his finger at the Russian leader with the instruction “don’t meddle in the elections please,” and the pair toasting each other at dinner later that evening.
ALSO ON RT.COMTrump trolls press, ‘orders’ Putin not to meddle in US elections (VIDEO)Predictably, American politicians and pundits went into overdrive. “He called the Russian president by his first name!”CNN’s Chris Cuomo gasped. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) claimed that Trump was “basically giving Putin a green light to interfere in 2020,” and former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul called the encounter “disappointing but no longer shocking.”
Pundits calling out collusion seemed to have forgotten the outcome of last year’s Helsinki summit. Then, like now, Trump heralded his meeting with Putin as “great,” and said that both leaders “got along very well.” Again, the media flipped with Trump for “believing Putin’s word” on election meddling, and castigated the president for “kowtowing to the Kremlin,” as the Washington Post put it.
But did things go better between the two countries?
Trump returned home and announced that he had mis-spoken, and that he did in fact trust the assessment of (some of) the US intelligence community that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. A month later, Washington imposed a ban on arms sales, US government credit, and exports of national-security-sensitive goods to Russia.
The Trump Administration also continued its policy of pounding Russia with economic sanctions. Three months before this year’s G20 summit, Washington sanctioned Moscow over a standoff with Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait near Crimea last November. Just one month ago, the US sanctioned a group of Russian individuals over alleged human rights abuses.
ALSO ON RT.COMRussiagaters’ darkest hour: Trump may come to Moscow for 2020 Victory Day celebrationsMoreover, while CNN’s Wolf Blitzer declared that the “Russians must be high-fiving each other” following the Helsinki summit, Trump followed the meeting up by discussing the possibility of building a new, permanent US military base in Poland to counter alleged ‘Russian aggression.’ With the planned base still a bone of contention between Washington, Moscow, and Warsaw, Trump also set the stage for this year’s Osaka meeting by inking a $414 million arms deal with Poland in February and announcing the deployment of 1,000 troops to the Eastern European country earlier this month. Hardly cause for cheer in the Kremlin.
Up to the present day, Trump has continued to pursue a business-as-usual policy of aggressive anti-Russia maneuvers. The US’ withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty this year only deepened the rift between Washington and Moscow, and raised fears of another Cold War-style arms race between the two superpowers.
With an agenda featuring arms control, trade and, according to Trump, “a little protectionism,” both leaders had a lot to talk about on Friday, and limited time in which to do so. As for outcomes, we will have to wait and see if actions line up with words.
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