Britain alarmed as John Bolton travels to Moscow to prepare summit...
Days after I discussed rumours of an imminent Trump-Putin summit, seeming confirmation that such a summit is indeed in the works has been provided with the Kremlin's confirmation that President Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton is travelling to Moscow next week apparently to discuss preparations for the summit.
The Kremlin's confirmation of John Bolton's visit was given today by President Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov
As far as we know, such a visit is going to take place. This is all we can say for now.
Further suggestions that some sort of easing of tensions between Washington and Moscow may be in the works has been provided by confirmation that a group of US Republican Senators will shortly be visiting Moscow.
It seems that a combination of the collapse in the credibility of the Russiagate collusion allegations – which I suspect no Republican member of the House or Senate any longer believes – unease in the US at Russia's breakthrough in hypersonic weapons technology (recently discussed by Alex Christoforou and myself in this video), and the failure of the recent sanctions the US Treasury announced against Rusal, has concentrated minds in Washington, and is giving President Trump the political space he needs to push for the easing of tensions with Russia which he is known to have long favoured.
One important European capital cannot conceal its dismay.
In a recent article for Consortium News I discussed the obsessive quality of the British establishment's paranoia about Russia, and not surprisingly in light of it an article has appeared today in The Times of London which made clear the British government's alarm as the prospect of a Trump-Putin summit looms.
As is often the way with articles in The Times of London, this article has now been "updated" beyond recognition. However it still contains comments like these
Mr Trump called for Russia to be readmitted to the G8 this month, wrecking Mrs May's efforts to further isolate Mr Putin after the Salisbury poisonings. Mr Trump then linked US funding of Nato to the trade dispute with the EU, singling out Germany for special criticism.
The prospect of a meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Putin appalls British officials. "It's unclear if this meeting is after or before Nato and the UK visit," a Whitehall official said. "Obviously after would be better for us. It adds another dynamic to an already colourful week."….
A senior western diplomatic source said that a Trump-Putin meeting before the Nato summit would cause "dismay and alarm", adding: "It would be a highly negative thing to do."
Nato is due to discuss an escalation of measures to deter Russian aggression. "Everyone is perturbed by what is going on and is fearing for the future of the alliance," a Whitehall source said.