When it comes to finding a peaceful resolution to Syria’s civil war, Moscow and Washington are trying to keep their lines of communication open without crowding each other.
On May 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump had their third phone conversation since Trump was elected in November. The first call took place Jan. 28, soon after the inauguration, while the second occurred shortly after the deadly terrorist attack in Russia’s “northern capital” of St. Petersburg, when Trump was among the first to express condolences to the Russian people. Both of those conversations revolved largely around ways to combat terrorism together, but substantively did not go beyond a “joint pledge” to do so. Trump’s offer of “the full support of the United States government in responding to the [St. Petersburg] attack and bringing those responsible to justice” was received with cautious optimism in Moscow that moving forward on the counterterrorism path might not be a hopeless idea.