President Trump is about to have one of his most crucial foreign policy tests, meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The preamble to this meeting, however, came in Poland, where the crowd wanted Trump to be hostile toward Russia, and he clearly had no intention of disappointing.
Trump declared to the crowd that the US had “demonstrated with actions” that they are committed to NATO’s Article 5 collective defense, and condemned “Russian aggression,” accusing Russia of destabilizing Ukraine and supporting Syria and Iran.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quick to issue a contrary statement declaring Russia’s disagreement with the US assessment, saying that they don’t believe Russia’s actions are “destabilizing,” and regretting the lack of understanding between the two countries.
Peskov expressed hope that the face-to-face meeting between Putin and Trump, expected on Friday, would hive them an opportunity to discuss actual issues and find common ground. The US is being tight-lipped about what they’d hope to get out of the meeting, though Trump declared Russia a threat to “Western civilization,” so the suggestion is he’s coming in with a chip on his shoulder.