US President Donald Trump ignored a meeting between the leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies and members of the APEC Business Advisory Council , where he could talk with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Instead of the President, Washington is represented by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at the meeting.
After the leaders took their seats, the meeting with members of the APEC Business Advisory Council began. Trump's chair was empty for a while, then Lighthizer sat in it.
According to RIA Novosti, the US president did not attend the second official event - the the APEC - ASEAN Informal Dialogue - as well.
The member of the Federation Council Committee for International Affairs, Igor Morozov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Trump's refusal to meet with Putin points to the US president's current difficult situation. "It seems to me that Trump is under the powerful pressure of political forces that are negative about Russia and Russian politics in the Middle East and South-East Asia, about our course on expanding trade and economic ties within the framework of a big Eurasia. I think Trump fears a new waves of criticism after a working meeting with Putin," the senator said.
"Perhaps Trump would like to improve the interstate climate between the US and Russia, but at the moment he is not able to do it because of the incredibly strong anti-Russian campaign. With such a composition of the Congress, Trump is not free to carry out his presidential mandate - and that's the problem. Therefore, having weighed all the pros and cons, Trump's advisers gave him a recommendation not to meet with Putin," Igor Morozov suggested.
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, recalled that the idea of a presidential meeting at the Da Nang summit was put forward by the White House, not the Kremlin. "Accordingly, they have the right to refuse it. And apparently they took into account Moscow's reaction: now the Russian side does not see the need to enter the negotiation process," he explained.
According to the expert, in spite of Trump's statements about the course on improving bilateral relations, the real position of the US in relation to Russia is very tough. "Yes, Washington is not averse to improving relations - if we give up Donbass and Crimea and satisfy a long list of claims. In addition, in August the US Congress adopted a law, where Russia is mentioned among its opponents along with Iran and North Korea. And according to this law, sanctions can not be canceled, no matter what concessions we make," the deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University recalled.
"And we cannot make concessions, and we do not want to. So we do not have relations with the United States now," Andrei Suzdaltsev concluded.