Ahead of Putin-Trump Summit US-Russian Relations Hit Rock Bottom

26-10-18 04:25:00,

“Clearly, the US is hoping to achieve military superiority over Russia by vastly expanding its nuclear capability and developing new weapons so as to reach a position where it can dictate to Moscow”

The highlight of the consultations of the US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Moscow on Monday was the announcement of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in Paris on November 11 on the sidelines of the ceremony marking the centenary of the armistice that ended World War 1. Furthermore, it was mentioned that Putin has been invited to the White House.

A range of other topics came up for discussion but neither Bolton nor the Russian side divulged any details. Putin himself had a 90-minute meeting with Bolton, which means some substantive discussions took place.

So, things are improving in US-Russia relations? The answer is yes and no. ‘Yes’ because a meeting at the highest level is always useful, if only for the two leaderships to exchange views and keep tensions under check. On the contrary, US-Russia relations have hit rock bottom. Today, it was disclosed in Moscow that some of the drone attacks on the Russian base at Hmeimim in Syria were operated from the US Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane. This is unprecedented in the entire history of Cold War — US directly attacking a Russian military base.

Of course, the ‘known unknown’ is the results of the Nov 6 US mid-term elections. Will Trump go into the Paris meeting as a weakened president or not. From present indications, Democrats may fail to get majority in the US Senate.

Meanwhile, no sooner than Bolton left Moscow, Russia hit out on the US decision to quit INF Treaty. Putin told the media on Wednesday: “What is a formal pretext for a possible withdrawal of our partners from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty? Accusing us of its violation. However, no evidence is offered as usual. Meanwhile, the US has already violated it (by deploying in Romania the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System)… The ‘stop thief’ principle does not work here. We closely analyze all that is going on in real life. But we are ready to work with our American partners without going into hysterics.”

In separate remarks on Wednesday,

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