The relationship between the Trump administration and the Kremlin continues to perplex, as the two sides trade barbs and watch each other suspiciously, while, on certain occasions, simultaneously showing shades of camaraderie. The latter was on display Saturday when President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a joint statement commemorating the 75th anniversary of a meeting between American and Soviet troops at the Elbe River, which the leaders said "heralded the decisive defeat of the Nazi regime" toward the end of World War II.
In a joint statement commemorating the 75th anniversary of U.S. and Soviet troops meeting at the Elbe River, Trump and Putin say they “pay tribute to the valor and courage of all those who fought together to defeat fascism.” pic.twitter.com/FB3IUeCREU
Seemingly, The Wall Street Journal notes, the statement — a rare one, considering the last joint declaration about the Elbe meeting took place in 2010 when President Obama was trying to recalibrate the Moscow-Washington relationship — is meant to reverberate in the present day, signaling the powers can set aside their differences. But not everyone is on board with the symbolism, the Journal reports. Some lawmakers and White House officials have reportedly privately expressed concern, since they believe it might hinder the U.S.'s efforts to send a stern message to Russia.
One thing seems likely, however — the statement was Putin's idea. "Putin wants validation from the United States that today's Russia, like the Soviet Union, is a great power," Angela Stent, a former U.S. intelligence analyst, told the Journal. Read more at The Wall Street Journal. Tim O'Donnell