Monday, 10 December, 2018

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin tout reset in ties at historic summit

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Ellis Copeland | 17 July, 2018, 18:54

Trump told Putin that their talks will be focusing on a wide range of issues, involving trade, military cooperation and also relations with China. "We have to start to set them right".

Trump made no mention of Putin's invasion, annexation and occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea; of Moscow's efforts to meddle in recent elections in Britain, France and Germany; nor of warnings from his own director of national intelligence that Russian Federation is preparing to interfere in the 2018 United States midterm elections. Instead, he called on both countries to jointly conduct investigations before he targeted the emails of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the servers of the Democratic National Committee.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from SC, who has had a closer working relationship with Trump on issues related to health care and tax reform, tweeted that the summit was a "missed opportunity".

Standing alongside Putin at a joint news conference, Trump acknowledged that his intelligence chiefs believe Russian Federation hacked Democrats' emails and leaked them to help push him to victory over his rival Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of USA foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!

Speaking during a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, he reiterates that there was "no collusion" between his campaign and the Russian government.

The Russian foreign ministry seemingly approved of this tweet, responding to it by stating, "We agree".

Trump, bent on forging a personal bond with the Kremlin chief despite allegations of Russian meddling in United States politics, went into the summit blaming "stupidity" by his predecessors for plunging ties to their present low.

His manner towards Putin was also a contrast to the anger Trump flashed at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies at a combative summit of the alliance in Brussels last week, which critics said would only hearten Putin.

'When President Trump was in Moscow back then, I didn't even know that he was in Moscow, ' he said. He called Russian Federation a "foe in certain respects". "And what he did is an incredible offer - he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people". "But I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship". "I think we have great opportunities as two countries that, frankly, we have not been getting along too well", Trump stated.

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"Yes, I did", Putin said.

Today both Russian Federation and the USA face a whole new set of challenges, he added.

Trump faced renewed pressure to confront Putin over Russia's election interference following Friday's indictments.

He said the current tension in bilateral relations has no solid reason behind it. Trump and Putin finally entered the Gothic Hall in the Finnish presidential palace at 2:10 p.m. "Just jaw dropping", he wrote on Twitter.

"From Cold War to Hot Peace" Author Michael McFaul immediately took issue with the President's approach to the meeting. That includes Russia's military incursions into Ukraine and Syria, the Iranian presence in Syria, Russian hostility toward USA allies, the arrests of Russian nationals overseas and renewing global arms control treaties.

While acknowledging there were still challenges ahead in improving relations between the two countries Putin said he was was "glad" at the outcome of Monday's talks.

One possible outcome of the summit is renegotiation of a nuclear treaty that expires in 2021.

Mr. Putin scoffed at a suggestion that Moscow had some compromising material on Mr. Trump. He did not commit to allowing the extradition of the Russian agents.

Angry criticism of his disavowal of his own intelligence agencies came even from within Trump's Republican Party. Russian Federation was kicked out of the Group of Eight nations after its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

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