US relations with Russia continues to be a challenge for both countries.
Reuters reports that the Russian government stated that they have not been collaborating with the United States on the North Korean issue. “There is no cooperation so far. Only periodic exchanges of views,” a Kremlin spokesperson said.
President Donald Trump recently left for his five-country tour of Asia. The president stated that he might meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders meeting in Vietnam next week.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, stated that there was a “great probability” that the two leaders would meet to discuss the situation with North Korea, as well as other issues. Trump echoed the spokesperson’s comments. “We may have a meeting with Putin,” he said. “And, again — Putin is very important because they can help us with North Korea. They can help us with Syria. We have to talk about Ukraine.”
Tensions between Pyongyang and the United States have intensified since the beginning of the year, with both President Trump and North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un trading threats. Trump’s Asia tour will be significant because Pyongyang’s missile arsenal could reach the capital cities of each country the president will visit during the 11-day trip.
President Trump and Putin first met in July at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. During the meeting, they discussed the allegations that the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 election. They agreed to focus on having better relations in the future — instead of dwelling on the past. However, the relationship between the US and Russia has had its challenges.
In August, Congress passed a bill imposing new sanctions against the Russian government. Trump signed the bill into law — even though he was hesitant to do so.
The Kremlin retaliated by asking the United States to cut its embassy and consular staff in Russia by more than half. There does not seem to have been any meaningful communication between the two governments since.
The United States’ relationship with the Kremlin might experience additional obstacles as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continues. Last week, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was indicted on multiple charges — none of which had anything to do with collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
However, the Wall Street Journal has reported that the authorities have enough evidence to prove that six members of the Kremlin were involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee.
Is President Trump right to seek Russia’s help with North Korea?
The Trump administration has a long road ahead of them. Navigating the relationship with Russia while dealing with the North Korean threat will not be easy. However, it is essential that the United States obtain the Kremlin’s support in addressing Kim Jong-un’s military ambitions.
The president has had some success in convincing China to take a slightly harsher stance against Pyongyang. However, Russia has not yet come to the table. Hopefully, when Trump and Putin meet next week, they will have worked toward an effective solution. That’s the best any of us can hope for.