Putin-Trump idea for bilateral business forum hits early trouble

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An idea Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump hatched at their summit a week ago for a new dialogue forum for Russian and American business leaders already appears to be dead in the water, highlighting the difficulty of making even small steps forward in the deadlocked relationship between Moscow and Washington. After a two-hour tête-à-tête with the US president in Helsinki last Monday, Mr Putin said that they had agreed to create a working group of senior Russian and American business captains to develop trade and investment between the two countries. “Business people better understand how to go about mutually beneficial co-operation. Let them consider what can be done and make recommendations,” Mr Putin said. But Russian government officials and business people are deeply sceptical that the initiative can get off the ground, as anti-Russian sanctions and Trump administration policies make even meeting and speaking to Russian business leaders risky for their American peers. (Read more…)