Many in the European press see the meeting as an advantage for an experienced political player like Putin, who continues to ride high in opinion polls and appears to be answerable only to himself. On the contrary, the meeting could prove risky for Trump.
As Reuters puts it, the summit is "a potential political minefield at home for the U.S. president but a geopolitical win for Putin." This because, given Russian allegations of meddling in the U.S. democratic process, allegedly to the benefit of Trump, any apparent closeness to the Kremlin could be viewed with suspicion.
Just ahead of the summit, the U.S. Justice Department charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hackingDemocrats in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In light of this, Reuters journalists Steve Holland and Andrew Osborn noted Monday that, "For Trump, whose White House victory was actively supported by 12 Russian military intelligence agents, according to a recent U.S. indictment, and whose entourage is still being investigated for possible collusion with Moscow, the meeting is freighted with domestic political risk."
The U.K.'s Mail Online reporter Joe Middleton said Sunday that "the charges put an even greater spotlight on Mr Trump's treatment of Putin, who has denied making efforts to intervene in the U.S. election that Trump unexpectedly won" while the U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper noted that: "It is surprising that the meeting is still going ahead."
Trump and Putin both deny allegations of collusion or meddling.