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WASHINGTON, July 9. /TASS/. The meeting between presidents of Russia and the U.S., Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, in Hamburg affords some hope, but no certainty, the U.S. former Ambassador to Russia and some other countries, former Ambassador to the UN Thjomas Pickering told TASS while commenting on the meeting’s results.
The diplomat said, based on the state of bilateral affairs before the summit, "any meeting short of an absolute train wreck are a step up." The top-level contacts were on the background of the agreement between Russia and the U.S. on the de-escalation zone in Syria’s south (from July 9), but stressed "the Syria piece is shaky - all past efforts at a ceasefire have failed after shorter or longer time periods." "Both sides have followed up with statements that this is the beginning of a change," he said, adding it is a "good sign."
Generally speaking, the diplomat continued, the "meeting falls in the middle between great success and full failure - probably better than expected by many and a measure that should afford some hope, but no certainty."
The meeting in Hamburg is not likely to change a lot the atmosphere in the U.S. capital, he said. "Washington is deeply dug in an anti-Russia mood," he said, adding that referred equally both to the "public and Congress."
"The focus on the election interference issue is intense and strident and will not disappear soon, particularly since the Mueller (Robert Mueller, former Director, FBI - runs investigation into Russia’s alleged interference with the U.S. elections in 2016 - TASS) work will be looked at as the next and most serious conclusion from the US side about that issue," he said.
"Over time, if Hamburg leads to further capacity to work together [at the UN headquarters] in New York and elsewhere on such issues as Syria, DPRK, ISIS (Islamic State terrorist organization, outlawed in Russia - TASS), and others, the election issue may be subsumed into the background," the diplomat said.
"Short of those steps, no real change in Washington for the next months," he forecasted.