The much-anticipated meeting between Trump and Putin is now being dissected on both sides of the Atlantic.
On July 7, Trump and Putin met in person for the first time at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Along with agreeing on a ceasefire in southwestern Syria, the two presidents discussed world cybersecurity, terrorism, the war in Eastern Ukraine and allegations of Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections.
Beyond that, neither Putin nor Trump would say much about what came out of a meeting than ran for more than two hours.
In Russia, the media coverage differed significantly from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement that Trump “pressed” Putin on claims that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
State-owned RIA Novosti wrote that the meeting would improve US-Russia relations, which they said Trump was seriously committed to building. In recent weeks, the narrative that Trump is stilted in his desire to build a stronger connection with Russia has been coming up repeatedly in Russian media.
“Pressure from the anti-Russian American establishment, which unfairly accuses the Russian Federation of interfering in its presidential elections and which Trump is forced to grapple with, is partly to blame,” the article said.
Numerous state-owned papers also focused on the fact that Trump called the chance to meet Putin an “honour” and, according to journalist Mariya Bondarenko, Trump’s expressed hope for “positive outcomes.”
“Trump remains Russia’s hope,” wrote journalist Andrei Kolesnikov in Forbes Russia. Still, he added that it was unwise for anyone to expect anything more than “hand-shaking” to come from such a formal and closely watched meeting.
For once, Russian and American media seemed to agree one thing: more talks were needed before one could really judge the next steps in the US-Russia relationship.
“Let’s be honest: these are not the talks between Reagan and Gorbachev or between Nixon and Brezhnev,” wrote Kolesnikov. “This is only the typical dust-off that comes before possible, future talks.”
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