The U.S.-North Korea summit held in Singapore in June was a largely symbolic affair and Trump is trying to “continue riding that wave,” by pushing for a meeting with Russia, Eugene Chausovsky, senior analyst at geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor told CNBC.
“I think any grand strategic bargain is very unlikely, and while small scale concessions might be likely, for the most part, nothing major would come out of it,” he said.
Ultimately, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are not going to come up with the solutions to pressing issues such as Ukraine and Syria in one meeting. “We can expect polished statements,” from both sides, but it is more symbolic than anything, said Mathieu Boulegue, research fellow at independent policy institute Chatham House.
That doesn't mean the meeting would purely be a public relations stunt or simply a photo opportunity, however, as a summit could serve as a springboard for the two countries to thaw their relationship.
In recent years, bilateral relations have devolved with Moscow increasingly flouting international laws, beginning with the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. While Putin insisted that the incident was legal, the wider community has condemned Moscow's actions as an illegal invasion and annexation of a wholly sovereign land — responding with sanctions on the country.
Syria is another contentious topic between the two countries, with Putin supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, while the U.S. backs other factions in the country.
More recently, Putin was alleged to have interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which has so far resulted in an ongoing probe in the U.S. Both countries have expelled 60 diplomats in response to a March nerve agent attack against a former Kremlin spy in the U.K.
With that recent history as a backdrop, Russia will be looking to gain something from any dialogue with the U.S. That could include relief from economic sanctions imposed on the Kremlin by the U.S., Europe and others.
“The question is whether the U.S. is willing and able to give any concessions to Russia,” Chausovsky explained, adding that Trump has shown a willingness to lift the penalties against Moscow, but he has so far been hamstrung by Congress.