To President Trump
Dear Mr President
Please do not imitate the frog’s dealings with the scorpion. Can you imagine being remembered as a green amphibian?
Holding out your hand to Mr Putin would be a retrograde shake. You are facing a ruthless dictator who has structured his supporters by the use of his country’s resources.
If you’re in doubt take a tour of the outskirts of Moscow or St Petersburg or points beyond. Behind the facade is the ugly truth, the generally sordid living conditions of the average Russian.
Russia may be a country you want to do business with. I hope that makes sense but not with Mr Putin. You will get no fair dealing. He is a shrewd adversary who has proven himself more than a match for your rather mealy-mouthed predecessor and any of the principal European leaders.
It may not be an appealing comparison but Putin is an unworthy successor to Adolf Hitler.