Donald Trump is facing a storm of criticism in America for his performance in Helsinki. His Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin is faring rather better. Back home in Russia, political figures have been lining up to praise the results of the Helsinki summit.
“This is the first important step towards establishing a political dialogue,” concluded Valentina Matvienko, speaker of the Upper House of the Russian parliament.
“We saw two leaders who wanted to come together to find common ground,” noted senior Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev.
The pro-Kremlin newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda consulted a body language expert in an effort to portray President Putin as the stronger leader.
“When he shakes hands, Donald Trump normally extends an open palm to trick his opponent into believing he is open for contact. Then he drags his opponent’s hand towards him to put them off balance.
“But in Helsinki he shook Putin’s hand quite normally, without any cunning moves. It reflects the results of the meeting and what has happened over the last year: Trump has failed to dominate Putin.”
The tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets claimed that “a quiet, modest Trump had paled in comparison with Vladimir Putin. It’s clear that Putin outmanoeuvred the US president.
That is cause for pride, but also for alarm. Because outmanoeuvring Trump does not mean he outmanoeuvred the US political class. I fear it won’t be long before Washington responds”.