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According to Western media reports (Wash. Post, USA Today, Bloomberg, Reuters, London Guardian, AFP, among others), Trump extended the invitation by phone when congratulating Putin on his reelection triumph.
The Kremlin and White House confirmed it. Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sanders said both leaders talked about meeting to discuss the arms race, adding:
“As the President himself confirmed on March 20, hours after his last call with President Putin, the two had discussed a bilateral meeting in the ‘not-too-distant future’ at a number of potential venues, including the White House. We have nothing further to add at this time.”
Putin aide Yuri Ushakov said
“(w)hen our presidents spoke (by) phone, Trump suggested meeting at the White House…an interesting, positive idea,” adding:
“If everything goes well, I hope that Americans will not change their mind about their proposal to discuss the possibility of holding a meeting.”
Neither government has begun planning for one. As Russian president, Putin met with Bill Clinton, GW Bush, Obama and Trump – never a formal White House state visit, a first if a trip is arranged.
Trump’s expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats and closure of its Seattle consulate, followed by comparable Kremlin moves clearly represent an obstacle to meeting – more importantly what could be accomplished.
Washington’s deplorable history of promising one thing, then doing something entirely different, proves it can never be trusted.
US hostility toward Russia continues worsening relations, not improving them. Trump’s hardened war cabinet is implacably hostile.
So is near total bipartisan congressional unanimity on anything related to Russia – agendas of both countries worlds apart.
Instead of fulfilling a campaign promise to improve bilateral relations, Trump, his neocon infested administration and Congress continue acting provocatively – disturbing events pushing the envelope toward direct confrontation.
Russia wages peace, not war. America’s agenda is polar opposite, at war with humanity at home and abroad, the risk of things escalating dangerously out-of-control uncomfortably high.
Inviting Putin to visit Washington, ideally for a formal state visit, followed by Russia reciprocating in kind, would be a positive development – short-term stepping back from the brink.
Given longstanding US hostility toward Moscow, it requires a giant leap of faith to believe anything ahead can change dismal relations – especially with things at a boiling point over the Skripal affair.
Trump’s meeting with Sergey Lavrov at the White House last May triggered a firestorm of protests in Washington.
The meeting accomplished nothing, nor one-on-one talks with Putin last July on the sidelines of the Hamburg G20 summit – bilateral relations today far worse than then.
In November 2001, after meeting with Putin for three days of talks, GW Bush said
“(t)his is a new day in the long history of Russian-American relations, a day of progress and a day of hope.”
US aggression in Afghanistan began weeks earlier, ongoing after 17 years – followed by other wars in multiple theaters, raging endlessly in Syria and Yemen, violence by US-supported terrorists continuing in Iraq.
Washington considers Russia its number one adversary. Chance for positive change from summit talks with Putin is wishful thinking.
Longstanding US policy calls for regime change in Moscow. Trump/Putin talks won’t change a thing.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”