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Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

Putin’s Anti-Trump Support Group Fails to Jell

The global leaders meeting in St. Petersburg had little in common except their growing exasperation with the U.S. president.

A host, but not a uniter.

A host, but not a uniter.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

On Friday, President Vladimir Putin assembled the most impressive panel ever seen at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, which he’s used as a showcase for Russia and himself since 2006. He had a non-attendee to thank for the full house, Donald Trump.

Usually, one or two foreign leaders attend the forum to act as foils for Putin, who delivers a keynote address, pitching Russia as an investment destination. This year, however, Putin shared the stage with President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and the Chinese vice president, Wang Qishan. They all had something in common: They’ve been slighted, rebuffed or otherwise aggravated by Trump.