We noted earlier that a Foreign Ministry official told Bloomberg that a US official had notified the Russian embassy that no sanctions would be forthcoming, contradicting Haley’s comments from Sunday but affirming a Washington Post report the following day.
And it appears Russia is responding positively to that reported comment, as Bloomberg reports that Russian President Putin wants to give President Trump another chance to make good on pledges to improve ties and avoid escalation, according to four people familiar with the matter.
One said the Kremlin has ordered officials to curb their anti-U.S. rhetoric.
Putin’s decision explains why lawmakers Monday suddenly pulled a draft law that would’ve imposed sweeping counter-sanctions on U.S. companies, two of the people said.
“Putin is ready to make numerous, deep concessions, but he has to appear like he’s not losing,” said Igor Bunin of the Center for Political Technologies, a consultancy whose clients include Kremlin staff.
“He understands Russia can’t compete with the West economically and he doesn’t plan to go to war with the West.”
Amid ominous tweets, conflicting statements from various administration officials, and demands from the Deep State to keep the boot on Russia’s throat, one could be forgiven for brushing off this latest ‘reported’ US-Russia detente as a strawman designed to inspire more ire in Washington and corner Trump further into escalating tensions with Putin.
Finally, Bloomberg notes that some administration officials are holding out hope that Trump might be able to stop the downward slide, especially after he congratulated Putin on his re-election in March and dangled the prospect of a White House summit. But given the current political climate in the U.S. it’s unlikely that any concession Putin may offer would be enough to bring a real thaw.