Last week the Kremlin and the White House confirmed that the Russian and US leaders would hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit. The official announcement of these long anticipated talks led to a serious discussion in the US with the mainstream media making a lot of efforts to prevent Trump from a possible improvement of the bilateral relations. Generally, almost all experts agree that a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump is necessary but there are some differences in opinions over the format. For example, the US press informed that some of Trump’s advisers as well as a number of congressmen and former US officials insist on the irrelevance of holding formal negotiations during these “sensitive” times and push the idea of a pull-aside, which, according to them, will be less aggressively perceived in America and emphasize a lower status of the relationship. As for Moscow, according to the information of the US media, the Kremlin wants formal bilateral talks, which could serve as a sign of respect between the presidents. The Russian and US officials haven’t provided any details on the format yet.
Moreover, the agenda is also unclear. National security adviser H.R. McMaster told journalists that “there’s no specific agenda. It’s really going to be whatever the president wants to talk about”. This information worries some American observers as they believe that in contrast to Trump Putin will bring a list of the specific demands to the US administration while the American president still doesn’t have an elaborated Russia policy. That means that well-prepared and experienced Putin could outplay Trump during the meeting. However, generally the whole set of possible issues to discuss is well-known: Syria, Ukraine, weapons control and sanctions. However, experts have different views on the question of Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential election 2016. While some analysts and politicians call for Trump to press Putin, others think that the topic will be avoided during the talks.
As for potential results, it seems that nobody both in Russia and America expects a breakthrough from this encounter since Donald Trump is still under heavy pressure domestically, which ties his hands to the certain limits. Therefore, the meeting is forecasted to become some sort of testing the waters by both parties. Nevertheless, the media assert that the American president is still strongly committed to improving the bilateral relations and searches for possible options.
The pressure Trumps faces over Russia became even more evident last week. First of all, CNN had to retract an article devoted to an alleged collusion between Trump and Russia as it “did not meet CNN’s editorial standards”. The story was based on citing only one anonymous source. Some pundits immediately pointed to the fact that much Russia reporting in the US media is built on the same shaky basis. Moreover, the New York Times also had to make an official correction to the published false claim that all 17 US intelligence agencies agree on alleged Russia’s hacking of the democrats’ emails. Both situations can serve as telling examples of so-called “Russiagate” coverage in America and “objectivity” of its mainstream press towards Russia in general.
US media scandal
By Glenn Greenwald
Three prominent CNN journalists resigned Monday night after the network was forced to retract and apologize for a story linking Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund under congressional investigation.
By Stephen F. Cohen
“Russiagate” has become a grave threat to US national security—but its discredited foundational allegations persist.
By Robert Parry
A founding Russia-gate myth is that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia hacked into and distributed Democratic emails, a falsehood that The New York Times has belatedly retracted.
By Vivian Salama
The Chicago Tribune
Many administration officials believe the U.S. needs to maintain its distance from Russia at such a sensitive time — and interact only with great caution.
By Julian Borger
G20 meeting of two presidents could see Russia regain access to diplomatic compounds blocked after interference in 2016 US election, say former officials.
By Yochi Dreazen
Putin will bring a specific list of demands. Trump, not so much.
By Jill Dougherty
Now it’s official: Moscow and Washington confirm the two presidents will meet at the summit, but there are no details yet on time, place or format.
By Ronald Suny
Although no evidence of collusion between U.S. citizens and Russia has been proven yet, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s attempt to improve relations with Russia has been hobbled.
By Anne Applebaum
The Washington Post
By 2016, it was already too late to stop Russia, because most of the damage had already been done.
By Reps. Adam Smith, Seth Moulton, Stephanie Murphy, Ruben Gallego and Joe Courtney
Our country faces a new crisis, one which endangers the underpinnings of representative democracy and freedom worldwide. The threat emanates from Putinism, a philosophy of dictatorship fused with kleptocratic economics.
By Joel Schectman, Dustin Volz and Jack Stubbs
As U.S. officials investigated in January the FSB’s alleged role in election cyber attacks, U.S. technology firms were quietly lobbying the government to soften a ban on dealing with the Russian spy agency, people with direct knowledge of the effort told Reuters.
By Jeremy Kuzmarov
Right after the Showtime broadcast of a series of interviews by Oliver Stone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, media pundits began attacking Mr. Stone in bitter terms that say quite a lot about the incivility and anti-intellectualism prevalent in our political culture.
By Harry J. Kazianis
All the bombs in the world won’t put Syria back together again—but one misplaced cruise missile could spark the ultimate of national security nightmares: a war between the United States and Russia.
A senior Russian lawmaker on Tuesday dismissed the United States’ warning about a potential chemical weapons attack by Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s regime as an “unprecedented provocation,” and the Kremlin called the accusations against “unacceptable.”
By Ingo Mannteufel
A number of important questions about the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov remain unanswered, even after a guilty verdict was handed down against five accused perpetrators.
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