Donald Trump may have stood up Vladimir Putin once too often. After the U.S. president snubbed the Kremlin leader twice in less than a month, Russia is finally losing faith in Trump’s promise to improve relations and bracing instead for increased tensions.
Feted by Russian lawmakers with applause and champagne after his election in 2016, Trump’s mercurial decision-making is increasingly seen as a liability in Moscow. Russian officials were taken aback when Trump tweeted that he was canceling talks with Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina hours before they were due to meet last week, a decision one of them called really bad. Since then, Russian frustration has steadily grown, according to four senior officials, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.