In Helsinki, Putin Can Grant Trump Great Success, of Sorts Order from Chaos, Brookings' blog, July 16, 2018
The July 16, 2018, face-to-face between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin is both entirely natural and extremely unconventional, very encouraging and deeply disturbing.
At the two previous meetings, in Hamburg and Danang, the two leaders had a lot to talk about—and they agreed on approximately nothing. There have been all sorts of variably informed speculations about the agenda, proceedings, and outcome of the upcoming rendezvous, but most appear to miss the point that Putin is interested in making it a success for his counterpart, and can do so at very little cost. Whether the NATO summit in Brussels prior to the Helsinki meeting is as quarrelsome as the G-7 gathering in Quebec or as smooth as the previous summit of the Alliance, Putin can stick to his script of insincere bonhomie. He knows full well that Trump needs this long-anticipated tête-à-tête to be a personal triumph of his will over the warnings—sometimes written in capital letters—of his advisers, the so-called “adults.” For a skillful intriguer like Putin, it is not that difficult to turn this desire for success to his advantage.
Read the full article on Brookings: In Helsinki, Putin Can Grant Trump Great Success, of Sorts