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WASHINGON, July 10. /TASS/. The meeting between Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Hamburg was useful for both sides did not remove obstacles to normalizing relations between the two countries, prominent US expert on Russia, Director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., Matthew Rojansky wrote in his article in the National Interest magazine.
"For Trump, the summit with Putin was a chance to advance at least two of his repeated campaign and post-election promises," the expert noted. "Trump promised to improve the relationship with Russia, and has cited the importance of U.S.-Russian cooperation to stemming the spiraling crisis in Syria, and to the global fight against terrorism more broadly." As for Putin, the meeting gave him an opportunity to "put the final nail in the coffin of the previous US administration’s policy of [Russia’s] isolation," he stressed.
He noted, however, that "a swift improvement in the largely dysfunctional U.S.-Russia relationship should not be anticipated," particularly because of the upcoming elections in Russia and the ongoing anti-Russian probes in the US.
"Even if new dialogues are launched on hacking, Syria and Ukraine, the Kremlin is in no position to make concessions, and the White House is under such pressure and scrutiny from Congress that it is also unlikely to give an inch," Rojansky emphasized.
Therefore, in his view, "the best-case scenario may be that increased dialogue helps to manage and prevent unintended military escalation between Russia and the United States and its allies in Syria or the Baltic region." "Beyond that, the path to what the Kremlin has called 'normalization' with Washington is still obstructed by deeply conflicting interests, domestic politics and widespread mutual distrust," the expert added.