From Nixon’s ‘détente’ to Obama’s ‘reset’, every new US administration makes one attempt at reconciliation with Moscow. Today it’s Donald Trump’s turn, at his summit meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. At first, such meetings are sensationalised as historic turning points, with the future of the world hanging in the balance. But that view doesn’t usually last long. It only takes a couple of state-sponsored assassinations by Russia, and maybe a small war in addition, for the parties to realise that they are at cross-purposes.
And if you are in geopolitics, as a US president has to be, you have to talk to foreign dictators from time to time. That is not a treason in itself, but there are proper ways of going about it.