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Eli Lake

Why Trump Shouldn’t Meet Putin

Americans should worry when the two men are in any kind of one-on-one negotiation.

This must not happen again.

This must not happen again.

Photographer: AFP Contributor/AFP

After announcing that there will indeed be a U.S.-Russia summit in the coming weeks, National Security Adviser John Bolton issued a challenge to the skeptical scrum of reporters at his Moscow press conference. "I’d like to hear someone say this is a bad idea," he said.

Bolton's argument is simple. He assured reporters that U.S. positions on Russia's sovereignty over Crimea (not recognized) and sanctions on Moscow (still in effect) had not changed. He acknowledged that the bilateral relationship is at a low point. Nevertheless, he said, a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump could lead to cooperation on areas of mutual interest. In essence, he asked: What's wrong with talking?