Lavrov reveals that with Trump so far there is no moralizing
Radio Free Europe summed up the first Trump-Putin phone call over the weekend in this way:
Russia's foreign minister is suggesting that U.S. President Donald Trump did not raise the issue of human rights with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their telephone conversation on January 28.
In the past, Russian officials have often bristled at what they claim have been Western attempts to teach the Russian government how it should treat its citizens and how it should behave on the international stage.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the first conversation between the two presidents since Trump's inauguration on January 20 was marked by "mutual respect" and a desire "to speak without moralizing, focusing on the national interests of each country."
The impression this gives is nothing so much as of a long-suffering Lavrov relieved and ecstatic that for once in fifty years Americans managed to go one phonecall without trying to lecture the Russians.
Lecturing your counterparts is poor manners and bad diplomacy, which is why Americans do not lecture the Saudis, the Pakistanis, the Israelis or the Turks. However faced with the Russians they just can't help themselves. It's just so much more fun than getting stuff done. Well apparently not for Trump. The former WWE wrestler may turn out to be the first American leader in generations who can stick to business.
The Russians will certainly appreciate it if the state which starved 500.000 children in Iraq starts casting fewer stones at others.