Foreign Press Review (26.06-02.07)

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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

CNN Journalists Resign: Latest Example of Media Recklessness on the Russia Threat

By Glenn Greenwald

The Intercept

27.06.17

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.

Media Contempt for Facts Grows Along With the Dangers of War With Russia

By Stephen F. Cohen

The Nation

28.06.17

“Russiagate” has become a grave threat to US national security—but its discredited foundational allegations persist.

NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard

By Robert Parry

Consortiumnews.com

29.06.17

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.

Putin-Trump meeting

Trump eager for big meeting with Putin; some advisers wary

By Vivian Salama

The Chicago Tribune

26.06.17

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.

White House could offer to roll back sanctions in first Trump-Putin meeting

By Julian Borger

The Guardian

29.06.17

G20 meeting of two presidents could see Russia regain access to diplomatic compounds blocked after interference in 2016 US election, say former officials.

Trump and Putin meet next week. Guess which one has an agenda?

By Yochi Dreazen

Vox

30.06.17

Putin will bring a specific list of demands. Trump, not so much.

Don’t expect much out of a Putin-Trump meeting

By Jill Dougherty

CNN

30.06.17

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.

Russia-US relations

Is Putin’s Russia the critical threat Americans believe it to be?

By Ronald Suny

UPI

27.06.17

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.

How U.S. presidents missed the Russia threat — until it was much, much too late

By Anne Applebaum

The Washington Post

30.06.17

By 2016, it was already too late to stop Russia, because most of the damage had already been done.

5 Democratic Reps: The U.S. Can Turn Putinism Into An Opportunity

By Reps. Adam Smith, Seth Moulton, Stephanie Murphy, Ruben Gallego and Joe Courtney

Time

27.06.17

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.

Despite hacking charges, U.S. tech industry fought to keep ties to Russia spy service

By Joel Schectman, Dustin Volz and Jack Stubbs

Reuters

30.06.17

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.

Putin Interviews

Spirit of McCarthyism Seen In Attacks On Oliver Stone’s ‘Putin Interviews’

By Jeremy Kuzmarov

HuffPost

26.06.17

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.

Syrian conflict

Mr. Trump, stand firm on Syria — and avoid military conflict with Russia

By Harry J. Kazianis

Fox News

27.06.17

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.

Russia blasts U.S. “threat” over possible Syria chemical attack

CBS News

27.06.17

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.”

Russia’s internal politics

Opinion: Political assassination of Boris Nemtsov still not solved

By Ingo Mannteufel

Deutsche Welle

29.06.17

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.

Articles also deserving your attention

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  1. Vladimir Putin Didn’t Break American Democracy, We Broke the System Ourselves (27.06.17)
  1. CNN punished three journalists for missteps on a Trump-Russia story. Did it overreact?
  1. Is ‘Russiagate’ Collapsing as a Political Strategy? (27.06.17)
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  2. The Senate wants tough new sanctions against Russia, but key U.S. allies are furious. Here’s why (27.06.17)
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  1. Turkey’s reconciliation with Putin spurs new power projects (30.06.17)
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