Russia-US summit: can disagreements be resolved?

(VOVWORLD) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are scheduled to meet next Monday in Helsinki, Finland. After a series of incidents, relations between the US and Russia have fallen to their worst levels in the end of the Cold War and sometimes whirled in a cycle of sanctions and confrontations. All eyes are on whether the two leaders can resolve their disagreements and build trust for future relations.
Russia-US summit: can disagreements be resolved? - ảnh 1 Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump

President Trump and Putin will meet for their first official summit since 2009.

Troubled relations

Political and military confrontations have made it difficult for the two world powers to build mutual trust.

Over the past 10 years, the US and Russia have clashed on many issues: Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Russia’s military intervention in Syria, a diplomatic crisis that resulted in the expulsion of Russian diplomats, and squabbles over a NATO missile defence system near Russia’s border.

Since Donald Trump took office, bilateral relations have been strained. In April, the US intensified economic, trade, and financial sanctions on Russia for many reasons. When a former Russian double agent named Sergei Skripal was poisoned in Britain and the British government charged Russian responsibility, the US led the diplomatic backlash against Russia.

President Putin has signed a new law placing sanctions on countries, organizations, and individuals who cooperate with US sanctions against Russia. Tit-for-tat has been a guiding principle for both countries.

But the US and Russia need each other’s support to maintain shared political and security interests in the world. They have acted cautiously to keep tensions under control.

No breakthrough but symbolic meaning

Prior to their summit, the US and Russia have organized high-ranking exchanges, including a visit to Russia by a delegation of Republican senators. The most positive factor is President Trump’s active gestures to improve relations with Russia. Trump has said he considers direct talks the best way to resolve problems.

But experts say that the summit will have primarily a symbolic meaning. Rather than trying to resolve thorny issues like Ukraine and Syria, the two leaders will focus on easing US-Russia tensions. Moscow will probably be asked to increase pressure on Iran to reduce its military influence in Syria and the Middle East region in exchange for a reduction of US sanctions. 

The summit will not be able to settle all differences, but it could avoid another Cold War by warming US-Russia relations a few degrees.

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