The meeting has been trailed in the media as a watershed moment, yet addressing the bilateral relationship is not the highest priority for Trump as he builds his administration and battles with Congress, or for Putin as he looks ahead to his re-election next March. The dysfunction in relations prevents effective international responses to the ongoing crises in Syria and Ukraine and exacerbates other problems.
- Trump and Congress will wrangle over the basic facts about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and appropriate responses.
- Ukraine will press for further US support, including lethal military equipment.
- Obstacles to resuming bilateral nuclear arms control will impede efforts to manage the North Korean crisis.