Russia's Foreign Ministery Sergey Lavrov has suggested that Donald Trump's private communications with Russia are far warmer than many of the public statements made by Trump officials.
Sergey Lavrov who is well known not only for his no-nonsense approach to diplomacy but also for his fun sense of humour stated,
"We usually focus on the main character in the drama - US President Donald Trump, who highly appreciated Tillerson's visit to Moscow as well as his own telephone conversation with President Putin, in which he expressed his intention to continue developing efforts to promote common interests in our relations".He described US officials who continue to make provocative statements about Russia as, "not yet fully adjusting to each other".
Nikki Haley, Trump's overzealous and self-serving US Ambassador to the United Nations comes to mind as one such person.
The Russian Foreign Minister said that the reason why preparations for the first face-to-face Trump-Putin meeting have taking so long and have been so exhaustive, is because at lot is at stake. Lavrov said that the meeting, scheduled for early July, ought to represent something capable of producing substantive results rather than just a handshake for the cameras.
"As far as I understand, both Washington and Moscow need this meeting not for the sake of impressing somebody and saying: 'Here's a sensation. It was prepared for such a long time and now it happened".He also said,
"Russia and the US have such strong impact on international stability and security that such a meeting will undoubtedly be expected to deliver specific results. In order for that to be achieved, it needs to be prepared thoroughly. We are working on that right now".These statements from Lavrov are interesting for two reasons.
First of all, it demonstrates that both Russia and apparently the US are taking the Trump-Putin meeting seriously. The US push for cooperation in Syria is now increasingly dictated by events on the ground which Russia now increasingly controls.
Turkey, for all of its unreliability as a partner to anyone, is at lest on paper, in the Russian camp and this is more important than many seem to understand.
The US has become effectively isolated in Syria. The US can either go rogue or sign up to this new reality voluntarily. It increasingly seems that the Trump administration is leaning towards some form of cooperation, although this still has the potential to change.
Secondly, it seems that the Trump administration is as disorganised as it looks. Where the Obama brigade were all reading off the same increasingly irritating script from their dimension of the US 'parallel universe', it seems that the Trump administration is filled with people who are each living in different galaxies.
There's the traditional neo-con/deep state friendly galaxy where General McMaster and to a degree James 'Mad Dog' Mattis reside, there's the Samantha Power 2.0 galaxy which is home of Nikki Haley, there's the conservative, anti-Salifist/non-Russophobic galaxy of a seemingly isolated Steve Bannon and then there's the Donald Trump galaxy where a long time ago and seemingly far away, Donald Trump actually knew what he stood for.
Sean Spicer is meanwhile living in a strange galaxy where Hitler didn't gas his people but Bashar al-Assad did. This place isn't even worth exploring.
One can only hope that Rex Tillerson, who for all his problems at least looks and acts in a professional manner, will be able to conduct relations with his counter-part Sergey Lavrov that by July, might be able to put an end to the confusion that seems to have paralysed the Trump administration.