U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam November 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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Russia long saw Donald Trump as the wild card in its strategy to improve relations with the United States.After betting the farm on Trump, Russia has seen relations with the West sink so low that there is talk of a new Cold War. In particular, Moscow is keeping the door open to a possible summit between Trump and Putin, an idea floated by Trump, and is also keen for U.S.-Russia talks on strategic nuclear stability to avoid a costly arms race.Moscow believes the only wild card it has with Washington is Trump who, in Russian eyes, appears to have been playing a game of good cop-bad cop, offering Russia a glimmer of hope, while Congress and his administration read Russia the riot act.Trump's approval of the expulsions was seen as a bad omen for his relationship with Putin by an online Russian newspaper viewed as close to the Russian presidential administration.Trump's congratulatory phone call to Putin after the Russian leader's re-election, his talk of a U.S.-Russia summit in the same call, and his statement Tuesday saying it would be "a great thing" if he had a "very good relationship" with Putin have provided small shards of hope to Moscow.
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