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Trump Pushes the World Right Into Putin’s Hands

Leaders from France to Japan open up to the Russian president as the U.S. goes its own way.
Trump Russia Dolls large lede
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

The more U.S. President Donald Trump strains the alliances that have sustained the post-Cold War order, the more indispensable Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to become.

By the end of Putin’s annual investment showcase that kicks off in his native St. Petersburg on Thursday, the leaders of four of the world’s 10 largest economies—Japan, Germany, France and India—will have flown into Russia for separate talks with the Kremlin boss within the course of a week. Putin will also host a new point man for foreign policy in China, Vice President Wang Qishan, and International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde.