“Discounted” & “Meaningless”: Europeans Taking Stock of Trump-Putin Summit

Written by | Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Europeans are not too worried about the outcome of the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki after they concluded that the leaders had not made any firm agreements. The US State Department confirmed that it was not being bombarded with concerns from US allies as some of them even called the meeting “meaningless”. “There isn’t a lot of cleanup because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of spillage,” one senior US official said. “The feedback we are getting from the Europeans is that they are relieved. They were worried he (President Trump) was going to give away the store and he didn’t. So they aren’t thrilled with the optics, but they are fine.”

The immediate diplomatic reaction to the summit was very critical, with Europeans describing it as “frightening”, “devastating”, and even “an abomination”, with some even calling for new strategies to deal with the US as a newly less-than-reliable ally. There was a feeling that Donald Trump was giving Vladimir Putin carte blanche to do what he wants after he endorsed Russia’s intelligence services and failed to confront the Russian leaders on key issues such as Crimea or poisonings in the UK.

Another US senior official said that Europeans are seeing American President’s comments as “a performance for domestic political consumption which they already anticipated.” “The summit itself was meaningless,” the official said. “It’s being discounted.” No official agenda of the summit had been published before and no communiqué was issued afterwards. In the days following the meeting, Russia issued a number of statements about what it said but these were mere agreements made at the summit “shaping a narrative of the meeting with no confirmation or alternative account from the Trump administration,” the Washington Post wrote.

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