Skip to main content

Incessant scandals threaten US-Russia progress on Syria

Moscow and Washington will need to safeguard any progress in their relations against fresh controversies and those opposed to cooperation.
Read in 

MOSCOW — No sooner had Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump had their first face-to-face encounter, July 7 at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, than a new Russia-themed scandal engulfed Washington. Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who had met with Donald Trump Jr. on June 9, 2016, may not have been sent by the Kremlin, as some Moscow insiders argue. However, the scrutiny of the meeting limits the Trump administration in its dealings with Russia, presumably affecting agreements reached in Hamburg, including on Syria. To understand why, one must take into account a number of contextual and structural factors in Russian foreign policymaking and current US-Russia relations in general.

Asked what Russia made of the allegations of collusion involving the US president’s campaign and his son, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he had learned about the story from TV reports. “This morning, when I turned on the TV, all the Western TV channels were discussing that. It is amazing how serious people can blow things out of proportion,” he remarked.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.