The summit that brought both the Russian president Vladimir Putin and US president Donald trump for the first time, on the sidelines of the G 20 gathering in Hamburg- Germany, was the star of the meeting.
Though no tangible or exceptional results came from the meeting, yet it was very important, not only for the two leaders and their respective countries, but for the world as a whole.
Putin and trump discussed a host of issues, the most important of them were three things:
The Syrian crisis, the Ukrainian conflict, and the alleged Russian interference in the recent US elections in 2016.
As for the first issue, the two sides have concluded an agreement to lower the tension and apply a quasi cease fire south of Syria close to the Jordanian border. The US administration, recently, has repeatedly admitted that Russia has the upper hand in brokering a political solution to the Syrian crisis, with the hope that this will ease Moscow’s tough position towards Ukraine. Furthermore, Washington declared it has no interest to see President Assad out of office, highlighting its top priority to fight ISIL (Daesh).
Concerning the Ukrainian conflict; US Secretary of State repeated Washington’s stance in his first visit to Kiev, to assert the unity of the Ukrainian territories, promising Russia to ease the sanctions only if it supported this end.
The third discussed issue was the Russian meddling in the US elections in 2016. Trump came with a suggestion to establish a joint US – Russian internet unit to prevent any breaching or violation to the cyberspace of the two countries. A suggestion that brought a storm of harsh criticism against him especially in his party.
The summit was a landmark, it did not usher in a new era in the US -Russian relations, yet, it has broken the ice and moved few steps in the direction as a beginning. Trump over-exaggerated in assessing the outcome of his summit, as he wants to capitalize and build on it; while the Russians were more cautious in giving any frank or very positive evaluation, as they know very well, what kind of structural problems the US suffer, along with its staggering President in internal and external politics altogether.