Many critics of President Trump's foreign policy believe he is giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a gift by agreeing to a summit while ignoring sources of tension such as the annexation of Crimea and foreign election meddling. But a chummy photo op goes a very short way to meeting Putin’s actual needs.
Reality check: In his fourth and final term, Putin is focused on domestic priorities such as lifting the economy out of stagnation, improving infrastructure and raising the retirement age to ease social-program budgets. Sanctions and a toxic international environment are big obstacles to these plans. To deliver on this agenda, he needs Trump to deliver on a calmer foreign-policy and business environment.