Experts on Friday said little could be expected from the Putin-Trump meeting, as the two sides are unlikely to end the state of “systemic confrontation” in the near future.
Russia and the US have confirmed their respective presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will hold a full-fledged summit in Finland’s capital Helsinki on July 16, widely seen as a signal of the two countries’ willingness to start mending their worsening relations.
The long-delayed summit comes at a time when Russia-U.S. relations have deteriorated to a record level due to multiple disputes including alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential campaign and divergence in Syria and Ukraine.
“We are now in a state of confrontation with the U. S.,” said Dmitry Suslov, deputy director of the Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.
Suslov said that an unacceptable “pre-war situation” has developed in Russia-US relations.
Both sides realize the need to keep things more manageable and predictable, which in turn inspired the idea of resuming bilateral dialogue in order to prevent further deterioration of relations.
The strengthening of Trump’s political position this year has made it possible for Trump to renew his friendship with Putin.
However, experts warned that one should not be over-optimistic about the results of the summit or short-term prospects of Russia-U.S. relations.
The main reason lies in the fact that the two sides have “fundamental disagreements” regarding the world order and their roles in it.
The US is trying to restore its global dominance while Russia stands for a more equitable multipolar world.
Suslov said: “I think controlled confrontation is the maximum that can be achieved in Russian-US relations in the next few years.
“As the US will try to maintain its hegemony and primacy with all its might, there can be no question of any constructive relationship in Russian-US relations.”
Experts said there are still ways in which the two countries could cooperate.
Potential approaches include restoring diplomatic missions, promoting cultural, social and scientific ties, as well as establishing a new joint stability mechanism in the world.
Suslov added: “Both Russia and the United States are in favor of a more flexible and modern approach to the issue of strategic stability … Here we can come to a common understanding.”