Trump’s ‘America first’ rhetoric is a gift to the Russian president, who wants to use it to break up the existing European order
When Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin meet in Helsinki on 16 July, there will only be one winner: it will be the guy who likes to be pictured shirtless riding horses in Siberia, not the one who trundles around a golf course in a cart. The biggest losers, of course, will be the rest of us, as the future prospects for international peace and prosperity take another nosedive.
Helsinki will be a miserable landmark, the first US-Russia summit conducted by nationalist populists. Both these men have been swinging massive wrecking balls at the rules-based global order. Trump cares nothing for the alliances and multilateralism that his predecessors worked to build after 1945. By summarily annexing Crimea in 2014, Putin unilaterally redrew borders through use of military force – a first in Europe since the second world war.