No 'specific agenda,' but Trump, Putin have lots to discuss

Updated: 2017-07-05 08:59


The US has its own list, topped by a resumption of adoptions of Russian children by American parents which Russia banned in late 2012, an end to what it says is intensifying harassment of US diplomats and other officials in Russia and a resolution to a dispute over a piece of land in St. Petersburg that was meant to be the site of a new US consulate in Russia's second-largest city. The US also wants expanded cultural and exchange programs between the two countries. Such programs were vastly curtailed or ended after Putin's 2012 return to the Kremlin in an election he accused Washington of interfering in.

Tillerson has made the adoption issue a priority, according to aides, although it remains unclear if he has succeeded in convincing the Russians to even consider revisiting the ban. The property dispute in St. Petersburg dates to 2014 when Russia blocked the US from developing the site after the Obama administration hit Russia with sanctions because of it's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

Officials say the US won't simply swap the Russian compounds for the St. Petersburg consulate. Action on the other demands is also required, they say.


Moscow has long sought an easing of economic sanctions the US slapped on Russia over its actions in eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, which the US does not recognize. Though there were indications that Trump's aides entertained easing the sanctions in the run-up to the inauguration and early days of his presidency, his administration has repeatedly insisted that they will stay in place until Russia pulls out of Crimea and lives up to its commitments under a cease-fire deal for eastern Ukraine that has never been fully implemented.

Given that Russia has taken neither of those steps, easing sanctions would require a major reversal by Trump and would infuriate Russia hawks in both parties in the US In fact, Congress has been pushing to increase sanctions on Russia and make them harder for Trump to lift. The Senate has passed the popular measure, which won't go to a House vote before Trump's meeting with Putin.


Eager to bolster his global legitimacy, Putin has been pressing the US to cooperate militarily with Russia in Syria, where both Moscow and Washington oppose the Islamic State group but disagree about Syrian President Bashar Assad. Though defense laws passed in the wake of the Ukraine crisis bar the US military from cooperating with Russia, the two have maintained a "deconfliction" hotline to ensure their forces don't accidentally collide on the crowded Syrian battlefield.

The Pentagon has steadfastly resisted proposals to work closely with Russia in Syria, out of concern the US can't trust Moscow with sensitive intelligence information. But the problems posed by the lack of coordination in Syria have resurfaced following recent events. The US has recently shot down several pro-Syrian government aircraft, leading Russia, an ally of the Syrian government, to threaten to shoot down any aircraft that flies west of the Euphrates River.



Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349