Irish Times view on Trump-Putin summit

Astonishing encounter signals real shift in geopolitical realities

 President Donald Trump  and Russian president Vladimir Putin answer questions about the 2016 US election collusion during a joint press conference after their summit  in Helsinki. Photograph: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

President Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin answer questions about the 2016 US election collusion during a joint press conference after their summit in Helsinki. Photograph: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

An extraordinary entanglement of strategic and domestic politics and of the personal and the political was on display on Monday at President Donald Trump’s summit meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Their encounter was dominated as much by Trump’s rejection of charges that he colluded with Russians in winning the 2016 US presidential election as by his claim that he has put their relations on a new and constructive footing.

Their agreement to cooperate on Syria, nuclear non-proliferation in Iran and North Korea and their exchanges on Ukraine and energy supplies to Europe bear out this claim against his domestic critics. Putin should be delighted by the positive role so bestowed on him at this time of major change in the global political order.

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