Putin and Trump will meet in a week in the Vietnamese city of Danang. The conversation will take place during the summit of the leaders of the countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) - but by itself the meeting of the heads of the two states will be almost the most important event of this meeting. What will the two leaders talk about? Some topics are already indicated - but not they will be the most important.
On Sunday, Donald Trump will fly from Washington to Tokyo - from Japan will begin his ten-day tour of the Asia-Pacific region. The US president will visit five countries: Japan, South Korea, China, and then take part in two international summits that will be held in Vietnam and the Philippines.
By the time he arrives in the Vietnamese city of Danang, he will have time to speak with Shinzo Abe, to deliver a formidable speech against North Korea in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and to negotiate with Xi Jinping during his visit to China. And everywhere among the main themes will be North Korean. Trump has put so much on the mythical "Korean nuclear missile threat" that he can not afford to simply leave Pyongyang alone. And it was not because of Marshal Kim that it was all started.
In Vietnam, Trump will see Putin, and in Danang, the second meeting will most likely take place.
The Kremlin and the White House still speak of it only as a possible one. But it is clear that this is due to the fact that Trump continues to be under fire for "Russian connections", and is forced to minimize any information on the Russian direction. Contrary to his desire, he was never able to organize a full-fledged summit with Putin, and is compelled to be satisfied with the pending international meetings. In early July, this was the G-20 summit in Hamburg, and now the APEC summit in Danang.
The first meeting was less than six months after Trump took office - and then the world press focused on her. Putin and Trump talked a total of more than 3 hours: at first more than two at a bilateral meeting, and then another hour at a general reception. A clear mutual sympathy was demonstrated, but of course the meeting did not lead to any breakthrough.
Because Trump remains under attack and the aim of Congress and the media for "Russian affairs" - and, not wanting to aggravate his domestic political situation, signs the laws passed by Congress on sanctions against Russia. The Kremlin, in principle, is sympathetic to the problems of the US president - and, responding to the attacks in general, continues to wait until Trump is able to free himself from the bonds that he swaddled Congress.
In the four months that have elapsed since the first meeting with Putin, he has not been able to do so. Although Trump slightly improved his position, military information and political actions against him do not cease for a second. Trump complains that the investigation of the mythical "Russian trace" prevents him from conducting international affairs - but this does not excite his opponents, that is, the American establishment. Moreover, this is one of the main goals of the entire Trumpa campaign - to block his plans to reform both the domestic political elite and the US foreign policy strategy.
The only chance to change everything for Trump is to win over to his side the majority in the Congress, which is possible either on the basis of the next parliamentary elections (but before them another year) or through the victory in the information war that will force Congress to support Trump. The victory in the information war will turn Trump's attention from his "sins" to the misdeeds of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats as such - and here he has some success. However, so far they are not such as to say that a turning point in favor of Trump has occurred.
In this state, the US president comes to a meeting with Putin - in a situation where he understands that Putin sees all his weakness and vulnerability. And this in itself is unacceptable for Trump - he was set up with Putin to change the world (it is clear that in American interests - but in the way that Trump represents them, not the globalist and, in fact, anti-American elite), but instead one foot sticks out in a trap, which he set up the establishment of his own country, and the other stuck in the Korean theme.
Yes, Trump himself invented the Korean nuclear threat. More precisely, he screwed up this topic to a level that for several months already makes the nervous ones especially appraise the chances of a limited nuclear war.
Of course, Trump raised the stakes on the Korean table not from a good life. On the one hand, he needed tools to put pressure on China, and someone pushed him to the idea that the "Korean bomb" is an excellent occasion for bargaining with Beijing. On the other hand, Trump needed to somehow interrupt the topic of the "Russian trace", with which he was beaten by the American media.
As a result, Trump lost rather than bought on the Korean theme - no one believes his threats (because wars do not start from scratch), but he can not get out of the dead end himself. He needs help from China and Russia. And not in the sense that C and Putin will force Kim to disarm himself before Trump - this is impossible and unprofitable for either Moscow or Beijing - but that they will come up with some scheme for transferring the crisis from the stage of threats to the stage of negotiations. Strictly speaking, Trump will talk about this first of all with Putin in Vietnam.
Moreover, secret talks on how to begin official talks have long been going on - both direct American-North Korean (one can only guess about them), and indirect (through Moscow and Beijing). It's time to translate everything into an open format. And after Trump, during his trip to Beijing next week, will try to blackmail the Chinese with a Korean card for the last week, he will talk about the DPRK with Putin.
In an interview with Fox News, answering the question about the upcoming meeting with Putin, Trump said that "Putin is very important, because they can help us with North Korea." That is, he repeated the idea he had previously expressed that good relations with Russia could help solve the Korean problem.
Trump called two other topics for discussion: "They can help us with Syria. We must talk about Ukraine. "
These topics are clear - like Iran, and Afghanistan, which will also certainly be discussed at the meeting. And in each of these topics, the two presidents have the opportunity to find mutually beneficial solutions.
Russia can help Trump from the DPRK. It does not mean that Russia will press on the DPRK, forcing it to disarm - but Moscow can help with the advance towards talks. There is still no alternative to the negotiations, and now it is important only that Trump himself can finally afford them. Then the six-party talks (the US, China, Moscow, Japan and two Koreas) can be organized quickly enough.
In Syria, conversations will go in the direction of what to do with the Middle East as a whole. This is not only a matter of rivalry, but also of interaction. Yes, the US has lost influence in the region, Russia has greatly increased it - but everything remains interconnected. And the restoration of unity, the "assembly" of Syria, we are in parallel with the game with the Kurds, which are led by the United States. All this is connected with the problem of the unity of Iraq as such, and with the Turkish repositioning between the US and Russia, and with the pedaling of the Iranian issue by Washington. The big Middle East burdens Trump - but in order to save face with the inevitable exit from Afghanistan in a couple of years, we need to cooperate with Russia.
Still, the main thing for Trump in a conversation with Putin will not be regional or even global problems.
Most importantly, he will need to understand how Putin treats him. Yes, if at their first meeting they were both most interesting to meet, make a first impression of each other, check their correspondence impressions with internal ones - now we are talking about something else. It's not about checking how the July agreements are being implemented (and they were in some form, but were), but how to understand who is acting from what position.
Trump is wildly annoyed that he never became a full president. And while Putin makes every effort to understand that he is not going to use it, it is clear that the American president himself thinks that in fact the Russian president does not consider him a full-fledged partner. And Trump himself was not used to negotiating in such a limited operational capacity. And even more so feel (or even tolerate) an indulgent attitude towards yourself partner-adversary.
In July, in Hamburg, Trump probably hoped that by the next November meeting with Putin, he would be in much better shape, freeing himself from part of the enemies hanging in his arms. Alas, this did not happen. However, Trump does not apply to those people who are failing - on the contrary, they harden him. Well, talking with Putin will be useful in any state.