Ian Bond, a former British foreign service official in Moscow (no relation to James Bond, Lol) who is now director for foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform, a research group in London, has said said that Putin will trump President Trump when the two leaders meet on Monday in Helsinki, Finland for a summit. He said this is due to Putin’s experience as an ex KGB agent.
Speaking to the New York Times, Bond said: “Putin versus Trump is not an equal contest”. He said this was because of the Russian leader’s ‘vastly superior’ knowledge of policy detail, his mastery of geopolitics and his past as a KGB officer schooled in the arts of persuasion, flattery and subterfuge.
But such fears may be out of proportion to the reality:
Yes Putin is a very capable man. He has revived Russia as a world power. This is after it lost it’s mighty Soviet Empire. Only someone who is extra brilliant would have been able to pick Russia up from the pieces he found it in back in 2000.
But Trump is also a very capable man himself. He is the first businessman to become POTUS. Before him, it was believed only war heros, Congressmen, governors and vice presidents could become POTUS. Trump made history.
Also, Trump has been known for decades as a famed negotiator.S
Let’s also not forget that the US establishment has made it laws designed to prevent Trump from giving away the family silver to Putin even if he wanted to.
Monday’s Trump-Putin summit has generated lots of opposition from Western capitals for another reason. They fear that by meeting Putin, Trump would be undermining Western sanctions against him.
Recall that many Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia after it annexed Crimea. This was following a referendum in which most people of Crimea opted to rejoin Russia from Ukraine.Most people in Crimea are ethnic Russians.
Western leaders feel Trump would be undermining the sanctions they imposed on Russia following the annexation if he doesn’t cancel the summit.
Trump would have liked to meet Putin much earlier than now, but members of the US establishment staunchly opposed it. It is only now that he has insisted he must meet Putin.
This is even in the midst of eleventh hour calls on him to cancel the summit. But even new revelations in the 2016 election meddling investigation haven’t deflected Trump.
Therefore fact remains that the world’s 2 biggest nuclear powers need to get along. They need to meet periodically to promote trust and greater understanding.