Russian propaganda heavyweights are entering the ring. Dozens of "experts" are ready to prove that it’s Putin handshake which is tougher and, say, he hasn’t blinked once while looking in the eyes of Donald Trump, unlike the latter. The win has been given to Putin in advance, and the first meeting of the U.S. and Russian leaders will be presented as evidence of a multipolar world where the strongest gravity pole is the cradle of Orthodoxy and “spiritual bonds.”
The negotiating teams of the two countries have already announced that they will discuss Ukraine, Syria and other problems of the universe and the world order. How long the meeting will last between Vladimir and Donald in the sidelines of the G20 summit remains highly confidential information, while the main task of the Russian team is to do everything to make these talks last longer than the recent ones in the White House – between Donald Trump and Petro Poroshenko. Length seems to be one of the main indicators of the "depth" of the dialogue.
Nevertheless, it has already been announced that, while in Hamburg, Putin and Trump will only be able to have a rather short chat, so it’s not worth expecting any solution on Ukraine. The assessments of these talks are obvious: they will not differ in content from what has already been said over more than three years of Russian invasion of Ukraine. By the way, the new U.S. administration is even bolder in its statements on the occupation of Donbas and Crimea than their predecessors led by Obama, so loathed by the Kremlin.
Curiously, however, is how patient Trump and Co. will be on this. Diplomacy is a must, of course, but let’s not forget about common sense. If the Russians continue to chatter at a primitive level about some kind of a "civil war" in Ukraine, it is unlikely that this will trigger any response, other than irritation, while the White House leader might as well feel he’s being played for a fool.
How long the meeting will last between Vladimir and Donald in the sidelines of the G20 summit remains highly confidential information, while the main task of the Russian team is to do everything to make these talks last longer than the recent ones in the White House – between Donald Trump and Petro Poroshenko
Even the usually well-reserved Sergei Lavrov doesn’t seem to hesitate telling Mr Kissinger stories along the lines of "it was not in vain that we have got involved in the conflicts in Donbas and Syria," while immediately inventing theories about the rightfulness of the decision to occupy the territory of a neighboring state. Russian authorities can claim as much as they wish the mean intentions of Americans in past administrations, who allegedly spent $5 billion on developing a democratic society in Ukraine, but this is unlikely to justify in any way the Russian invasion. Moreover, talking of love for money, why hasn’t the Kremlin engaged in such projects for years after the collapse of the Soviet Union? Five billion for democracy – that’s nothing for the Russian budget, even despite it having worn a bit thinner after the drop in global oil prices. After all, it would be much cheaper than the cost of those many gas pipelines bypassing Ukraine that Moscow has been mulling. But Moscow preferred to try and justify to the whole world why "Ukraine was never a thing," and if it was, then only in a form of a Russian colony. Moscow also chose to bribe various sycophants loyal to Moscow, to strengthen their power, instead of injecting money for public development.
Is Trump ready to listen to this nonsense of Russian imperialistic chauvinists? It’s highly unlikely
The Kremlin will keep repeating their mantra on the need to "jointly" fight terrorism, while at the same time committing such crimes at the state level, and not only in Ukraine.
Is Trump ready to listen to this nonsense of Russian imperialistic chauvinists? It’s highly unlikely. He realizes perfectly well that for being as much as suspected of playing in favor of the Russians, he will be crucified back at home. It is unlikely that he will want to play for Moscow’s better image. It would be nice for Mr Trump to find arguments to explain to Russians where the internationally recognized borders of their country run. In this situation, words have long ceased working. Lethal high-precision weapons for the Ukrainian Armed Forces are clearly a more convincing argument.
Roman Tsymbaliuk, Moscow