Presidents Putin and Trump will both be in the German city for one of the year’s top economic events which brings together the most powerful 20 economies in the world, and there’s a high likelihood that some kind of meeting between them will indeed happen. Pundits are saying that they could either hold an official press conference of sorts or an informal chat on the sidelines of the event, but the more prestigious the meeting, the more powerful its overall impact will be.
There are, however, forces that don’t want the two leaders to talk to one another face-to-face, or to do so only briefly for a minute or two on the G20 sidelines. These individuals are more or less from the same camp which has hounded President Trump about his suspected Russia ties, or are so sensitive about the Mainstream Media’s warped and sometimes outright fabricated reporting about this story that they’re afraid it’ll generate even more negative coverage if the two leaders come off as too chummy with one another in front of the cameras. That’s probably a pretty unfounded fear, though, considering just how many disagreements presently exist between Russia and the US and the profound challenge that it’ll be to reach any sort of comprehensive “New Détente” between the two sides.
Syria presents the most pressing source of multifaceted contradictions between Moscow and Washington, with neither side agreeing on the contours of the so-called “political solution” to the crisis, nor even on how to jointly combat terrorism together. Speaking of the War on Terror, Russia and the US have different approaches to addressing this in Afghanistan, with Moscow backing a new peace process in the Russian capital while Washington is intent on going forward with a mild troop surge that’s bound to escalate tensions there. Looking beyond these two conflict theaters, there’s also the enduring problem of NATO and its eastward expansion, the US’ missile defense shield, North Korea, and disagreements over Iran, among others.
Altogether, these factors make it very difficult for Presidents Putin and Trump to leave Hamburg with a comprehensive plan for a “New Détente”, though it’s not impossible that they’ll come to an understanding on one or some of these issues, possibly even Syria.
Gilbert Doctorow, independent political analyst based in Brussels and John Bosnitch, Belgrade-based Canadian Political Consultant, joined our discussion.
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