California Governor Jerry Brown delivered a speech at a global economic summit in Russia Wednesday, challenging both Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to overcome the poor state of US-Russian relations.
According to Russia Today (original emphasis):
Brown said that although the “mood” towards Russia isn’t great in Washington at the moment, the two nations have overcome poor relations before.
“I would recall the mood in 1984-1985, when Russia was described as an evil empire, but very soon thereafter, there was the very important agreements between President Reagan and President Gorbachev,” he said.
Brown added that the relationship between Moscow and Washington can “start going up” towards a “much better relationship in the future.”
Before he left California for Russia, Brown commented on the purpose of the junket, which was ostensibly to press President Putin — just as he did with China’s President Xi Jinping — to follow California’s lead, “decarbonize” and “go green.”
“Every government and every business is responsible for making this radical turn, and from Victorville to Vladivostok, California will continue to lead the charge,” Brown said of climate change last week as he announced the trip.
California political commentators are questioning Brown’s judgment in making the trip at all. Dan Walters wrote a scathing OpEd in the Fresno Bee:
Californians are dealing with a late summer outbreak of devastating wildfires. Even the National Guard has been called out to fight them.
On Tuesday, the Legislature began the final, furious days of its 2017 session with hundreds of bills still in limbo, including a package of housing measures that everyone considers vitally important to the state’s future.
And where is the state’s governor during this uncertain period? He’s thousands of miles away, in Vladivostok, Russia, participating in a global economic conference.
There’s no report on whether or not Putin met with Brown, nor has he commented publicly on Brown’s challenge.