US President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin vow for a fresh start to troubled relations
US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin pledged a fresh start to troubled ties between the two countries, at their first one-on-one summit in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.
Both leaders held a two-hour long closed door meeting during which they discussed a number of issues, including Russian meddling in the 2016 US Presidential elections, Syria, Ukraine and China to trade tariffs and the size of their nuclear arsenals. They expressed a desire to co-operate onglobal challenges.
At a joint news conference after the meeting, Trump said US-Russian ties had never been worse than before their meeting but that has now changed. Putin echoed Trump’s view, saying the 2 sides have outlined the first steps to improve bilateral relationship.
And Putin again denied alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s election campaign. He said Russia has never interfered with and is not going to interfere with US elections.
Trump said neither he nor Putin see any reason why Russia should do that. While they stressed their commitment to improving bilateral ties, the leaders apparently failed to reach concrete agreements on Syria, nuclear disarmament and other key issues.
Standing alongside Mr Putin at a joint news conference, Mr Trump said, theRussian President delivered a powerful denial of any meddling in US elections. He said, Mr Putin privately made an incredible offer to help American investigators in their prosecution of 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking crimes during the elections.
The US President did not elaborate on the offer, although Mr Putin himself suggested that special counsel Robert Mueller could ask Russian law enforcement agencies to interrogate the suspects.
Later, in an interview to Fox News, the Russian President termed the probe by Robert Mueller as political games that should not be permitted to interfere with the US-Russia relations. Speaking through a translator, he said, the ties should not be held hostage to Mueller probe.