aside How Should President Trump Deal With President Putin On July 7, 2017

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From Wikipedia

On July 7, 2017, the republican President Donald Trump will be conversing with the Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 Summit, the twelfth meeting of the group of 20 countries’ leaders, being hosted by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel in her hometown of Hamburg.

The president’s National Security Advisor, General McMaster has indicated to journalists that the meeting would be unstructured. “There’s no specific agenda. It’s really going to be whatever the president wants to talk about,” AND this is in comparison to the Russian President Putin who will have meticulously prepared, studied with a well-planned strategy for what he intends to discuss.

With this publicized lack of direction for the president, a well known Russian expert, Michael McFaul has written a general script that the president can use as a guide.

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Here’s the rest of the story...

On July 3, 2017, A former US Ambassador to Russia,  Michael McFaul penned the following op-ed piece, for the Washington Post, “What Trump needs to read before meeting Putin.”

About the author: Michael McFaul is director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a Hoover fellow at Stanford University, and a contributing columnist to The Post. He was previously special assistant to President Obama at the National Security Council from 2009-2012 and former U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012-2014.Follow @McFaul


“When I worked in the White House at the National Security Council from 2009 to 2012, I wrote briefers for President Barack Obama for his “bilats” with then-President Dmitry Medvedev and then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. I have written an (unsolicited) backgrounder deliberately for President Trump; short, simple and with his stated views on Russia in mind ahead of this week’s meeting between the U.S. and Russian presidents.”

Related imageBackgrounder on U.S.-Russia relations

For three decades, American presidents sought to encourage democratic and market reforms inside Russia and integrate Russia into the West. This strategy was motivated by the belief – shared by Republicans and Democrats alike – that a more democratic Russia would serve U.S. security and economic interests. That project is now over. Putin does not want to build democracy and has even become suspicious of free enterprise. He sees Russia as a bulwark against American hegemony and Western liberal values.


“Putin recognizes the asymmetric balance of power between our two countries, but compensates for his weaker position by being willing to take greater risks, be it annexing territory in Ukraine, intervening in Syria, or violating our sovereignty during the 2016 presidential elections.”

Putin is a very experienced, effective interlocutor. He will come prepared for this meeting, seeking first to convince you that you both can work together, against common foes such as the “deep state” and “American fake news.” Putin wants the readout of this meeting to be “we had a very good meeting.” Your objective is different. Your goal is not a friendly chat — diplomacy is not a popularity contest — but a clear statement of U.S. national security and economic objectives and an exploration of what issues the United States and Russia could pursue together. Don’t expect any breakthroughs in this first meeting. Your task is to demonstrate to Putin that you are a tough negotiator committed to pursuing American interests.”

Image result for photos of past g20 meetingsHere are the issues that you must address in your talks with Putin.

Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election: “You must signal clearly to the Russian president that you know exactly what he did. Leaving any doubt will communicate insecurity or ignorance. You must state bluntly to Putin that Russia can never again violate our sovereignty by stealing and publishing our data, and must stop cyber probes of our electoral machinery. You should hint at potential coercive responses, including sanctions and counter cyber actions, if we are attacked again. You could pledge to not interfere in Russian elections. If the meeting is going well, you might suggest that our two governments should begin negotiations regarding new norms about cyber activities in our two countries, possibly resulting in a treaty.”

Ukraine: “You should confirm that you want to lift sanctions, but only after Russia ends its support for separatists and implements the existing, but unfulfilled peace agreement, or a new and improved accord. You could tell Putin that you like big deals and want to do a big deal on Ukraine, but not done over the heads of the Ukrainians. Above all else, you cannot hint at a willingness to lift sanctions unilaterally without receiving anything in return. You can inform Putin of your decision to appoint a special envoy for ending the war in Ukraine who would negotiate with his government, the Ukrainian government and our European allies involved. The name of this special envoy could be announced at the press conference with Putin and serve as the one deliverable of this bilat.”

From L-R, European Council President Donald Tusk, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe walk after a family photo during the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Trade and investment: “You should signal your desire to deepen our economic ties as a way to create new jobs in America. You even could say that you support Russian investment in the United States. But you cannot pursue this economic agenda until we come to terms on Ukraine.”

Syria:  “You can repeat your desire to work with Russia to defeat the ISIS, but then ask Putin to task his minster of defense to engage directly with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on developing a comprehensive strategy for cooperation. On this issue, the devil is in the details and Putin knows these details much better than you do, so you want Mattis to take the lead. You should press Putin to make good on his commitment to remove chemical weapons from Syria, and communicate that you see no long-term peaceful outcome in Syria until Bashar al-Assad steps down. Probe to see if Putin shares your assessment. Tell Putin you want peace and stability in Syria, not regime change.”

Image result for photos of past g20 meetingsNorth Korea: “You should warn Putin that you will not tolerate the deployment of the nuclear-armed ICBM (even if that may not be true), and so you need his help now to freeze North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Press Putin to lean on the Chinese.”

The adoption ban: “Explain to Putin that lifting the ban on Americans from adopting Russian orphans would be the boldest signal that he is serious about new cooperation with the United States. So that this move would not appear to be a concession, you could pledge to Putin your readiness to put in place new regulations for insuring the safety and well-being of these adopted children.”

Related imageTime permitting, the Middle East: “If time permits, you could share your impressions of your trip to Saudi Arabia and in particular your worry about Iran’s destabilizing actions in the Middle East. Tell Putin that you have no intention of withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, but in return want Russia to use its leverage to stop Iranian support for terrorist organizations. Make clear that despite whatever has been said in public, your administration wants to defuse tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

Issues to be avoided: “NATO (because it’s none of Putin’s business), spheres of influence (because it’s a bad idea), alleged American involvement in Russian elections (because it’s not true) and human rights (because you have said little about these issues and therefore anything said now will be interpreted by Putin as insincere.)”

“This first meeting, therefore, is extremely important. It is up to you to set a tough but pragmatic tone for your interactions with the Russian president for the next four years.”

Related Article:

Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and … – Internet ArchiveApr 6, 2017 –


    • Dear Kim,

      I have a feeling that when the expert on Russia and the former US Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul read that the president was having a non structured meeting with Mr. Putin where he could talk about anything, that Mr. McFaul felt that this plan was nuts. He was kind enough to write something up that the president could use as a guide.

      According to what the news pundits have said, there is a plan to make sure that the president is not left alone with the Russian leader, not even for a second.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope he’s not left alone Gronda, but even if he has people with him he could do damage. Look at his comments in Poland today. He’s back to the thinking that “maybe” it could have been Russia, but it could have been other countries as well. And then he brought up the intelligence being wrong on “weapons of mass destruction” so they could be wrong on this. I just have a bad feeling about this meeting.😕

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I’m sad to say that I won’t be holding my breath expecting this sorry excuse of a ‘so-called’ president to deal snywhere close as described by Mr. Michael McFaul! Drumpf is incapable of finding his limo! Let alone standing strong for America! 😳

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hugs back, dear friend! Nothing good is coming out of this. He proved it already during his 1st trip.
        We are on a very slippery road. Mr. Mueller better hurry up … DDT’s gotta go.
        The damage will be irreparable. We are already along that pathway.
        Makes me very nervous & utterly sad! 😪

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is probably the way things should go, but I hear DT saying, “We had a great talk. He’s a nice guy once you get to know him., a really nice guy.” after mentioning only a few of the suggested points. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Your prediction would be in keeping with his character. If this is the worst scenario, then we are okay. I am afraid that he can indeed do much worse.

      Hugs, Gronda


  3. Too long. Someone will have to read it for him and put together a one-page briefing. It was leaked out aides were frustrated by his lack of desire to read even the shortest of briefings.

    Here is what he will say. Thanks for your help. Let me continue to be hard on you in public, until this blows over.


    Liked by 1 person

      • Gronda, Putin will walk in with detailed briefings and a strategy. He knows if he strokes Trump’s ego, he can register key comments and have his requests heard. Trump won’t have facts of history at his disposal, so he will take Putin at his word. Truth be told, I don’t believe a word either man says. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dear Keith,

          Your assessment is right on as both leaders are not to be believed. But one is competent and the other isn’t. What’s worse is that DDT is so easily played.

          Hugs, Gronda


  4. All President Putin has to worry about is not play this fool too obviously, otherwise he realise, it get cross and do something crazy. But I think ‘we can rely on President Putin’ to make sure that doesn’t happen.
    (‘ we can rely on President Putin’ ??? Did I just slip into ‘Catch 22’ mode then?)

    Liked by 1 person

      • Truly a time of trials for the USA. It’s one of the penalties of living in an era which will interest many later historians.
        I never thought I would have preferred Ted Cruz- at least he’s a professional. (I wonder what he actually is plotting at present?)
        Hoping this will be a short time for America.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Gronda, great piece! Thanks for sharing. Sadly…I think while put in will bring his A-Game to the meeting, Trump’s over-inflated vision of himself as a brilliant diplomat and negotiator will leave h sorely unprepared. Which Bully will bully who? Put in possesses the experience, intellect and overall know-how to control this “unscripted” meeting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “What Trump needs to read before meeting Putin.”

    This guy doesn’t get it and neither do Trump’s critics. Trump is resourceful and has already punished Putin’s Russia by revealing that the US intends to supply Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe with liquefied natural gas which will cause Russia to lose billion$ in income and end it’s ability to strangle Eastern Europe by cutting off energy supplies. Not much said about that except on FOX

    adoption ban

    Huh ? While this may be a humanitarian bid for children it is hardly a matter for a summit meeting in these volatile times. This matter could be initiated by even the lowest levels of the State Department.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Carl D’Agostino,

    I don’t know enough yet about what was accomplished between President Trump and President Putin at the G20 get together to comment at this point.

    . But the author of this article is the former US Ambassador for Russia who has previously sat in high level meetings with President Putin. The above brief was intended to be helpful. Of course, Donald Trump was free to totally ignore this article which he probably did.

    We will find out what happened eventually. I’ll be listening to FOX TV as well as a myriad of other channels. I have already read the RT version.

    The adoption ban has been frequently mentioned at these high level meetings because there are many U.S. citizens who happen to care about this issue. There was the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The law so enraged Mr. Putin that he retaliated by halting American adoptions of Russian children.

    Hugs, Gronda


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