"I expect that Donald Trump will likely bond with Vladimir Putin, that is, if there is a chance to find chemistry together and break the ice," said Charles Ortel, Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist, commenting on the upcoming meeting between the two presidents that is due to take place in Helsinki on July 16.
The Wall Street analyst underscored that "for the United States, a path towards normal bilateral relations with Russia might usher in a period never seen before, where we might learn to cooperate to mutual advantage economically (investing and trading) and addressing challenges including on the Korean Peninsula, in Afghanistan, and across the Middle East."
As for Russia, "'clearing the air' with the United States concerning mutual conduct since 1992, presents realistic prospects for removing economic sanctions," he opined.
According to the Wall Street analyst, the previous administration's "reset" efforts did not bring the countries any closer.
"Though much is said in the United States concerning Russia, the truth seems to be that Americans are not all that familiar with the long sweep of Russian history, or even with Russian people. One productive step, as happened in America's relations with China might be to promote cultural, educational and athletic exchanges, as well as travel," Ortel suggested.
'Both Gentlemen are Doers'
The question then arises what surprises one could expect from the upcoming Helsinki meeting between Putin and Trump.
"From what I observe, both gentlemen are doers — each has a long record of accomplishment in many guises," Ortel responded. "I hope that talks are frank and direct, with both leaders arriving in moods to make and explain solid, step-by-step progress achieving concrete, measurable goals."
The Wall Street analyst expressed hope that "both gentlemen are prepared to listen carefully to one another": "If each does, I see potential to transform relations in ways that could bring substantial benefits not only to Russians and to Americans, but to individuals living in flashpoints worldwide."
"A Putin-Trump summit is long overdue and should be welcome by thoughtful observers of geo-political and economic trends," Ortel concluded.
The views and opinions expressed by Charles Ortel and Ekaterina Blinova are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.