>> For US President, Donald Trump, Monday's summit with Vladimir Putin risks political backlash at home and abroad. But for Putin, it's already considered a big political win. Reuters Moscow correspondent, Andrew Osborne, explains.>> In Russia, where the political system is obsessed with hierarchy, with status, and with raw displays of power, the Helsinki summit is ideal for Mr Putin.
This is all about Russia wanting to be seen as being on an equal footing with the United States. Politicians here see it as a sign that the United States finally understands that they need to treat Russia as the great power that it is, and that they need to take Russia's interest into account.
>> Further underscoring the point, Trump's decision not to cancel the summit despite Friday's charges against 12 Russian spies for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election. The two leaders have met twice before at events, and spoken by phone at least eight times. Monday's tete-a-tete, a clear sign to Moscow that efforts to isolate Russia have failed.
>> Let's not forget that Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014. And has also been supporting pro Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine. It's been hit with a slew of US and European sanctions for that. So for Russia, saying that Vladimir Putin is now able to sit down in Finland with President Trump is a sign that, yes, those sanctions are still around but there's some kind of a return to normality, return to normal business.
>> The Kremlin had long been vying for a summit. Its neutral venue of Helsinki also key for the Russians. State television has shown what happened to other leaders, other world leaders when they went to Washington to meet with Mr. Trump. It showed a picture of Mr. Trump squeezing the hand of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
A picture of Mr. Trump brushing dandruff of the shoulders of French President Emmanuel Macron and it showed Mr. Trump sitting alongside a very unhappy and glam Angela Merkle from Germany. The message from here is clear. It wants Mr. Trump to treat Mr. Putin with the respect that Moscow believes he deserves.
>> And expectations are high in Russia that Putin, with more than 18 years of global experience, will have the upper hand over political neophyte, Trump.