On July 16th 2018 a summit between President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin, of the United States and Russia respectively was held in Helsinki, Finland.
Before starting the historic one-on-one summit, presidents Trump and Putin both expressed their opinions on what is to come.
Trump had the following to say: “Discussions on everything from trade to military, to missiles, to nuclear… We will talk a little bit about China, our mutual friend, President Xi [Jinping] … We are the two great nuclear powers, we have 90 percent of the nuclear, and that’s not a good thing, it’s a bad think, and I think that hopefully we can do something about it.”
Whereas Putin had to say: “Now it is time to have substantial talks on our bilateral talks and various pressing issues on the international agenda. There are many of them to pay attention.”
Both Putin and Trump directly after the meeting appeared pleased and praised the constructive discussion they had. Putin completely rejected any accusations of elections meddling.
When the questions began – Trump had to answer the first two questions.
Firstly, was the issue of North Stream 2, which Trump said the US would compete with as a seller of oil and gas and was doubtful if Germany’s decision was correct. Russia is ready to prolong the gas transit agreement with Ukraine if the countries’ national energy giants settle their court dispute in the Stockholm Arbitration Court, since Trump had worries about the end of transit through Ukraine.
Secondly, Trump stated that the probe on Russian Interference in US elections is ridiculous and that it keeps the two powerful countries apart. That is when Putin asked for the presentation of facts of alleged Russian meddling in the US elections. He stated that Russia is prepared to study any concrete materials regarding the issue if they are provided to it. He reiterated that he has always stated that Russia has no meddled in US internal affairs, not in elections or in anything of the sort. Putin also said that he wanted Trump to win because he spoke of normalization of ties with Russia.
The Russian President spoke of an agreement on mutual assistance in criminal cases and that it works effectively. He said that their investigators and prosecutors are working effectively, and that Russia can make one more step forward – they may allow official US representatives to be present, even the commission headed by Mueller to be present at the questioning sessions. That can happen after the commission headed by Robert Mueller sends an official request within the framework to be allowed to conduct the questioning.
Russia has passed its proposals on cooperation in the area of strategic stability and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass-destruction. He stressed on the importance of dialogue between Moscow and Washington on the range of military-political and disarmament issues. Russia is also ready to cooperate with the US regarding fighting terrorism and cybersecurity risks, he reminded the US president of the possibility to recreate a working group on counterterrorism.
Regarding Syria, Putin stated that the end goal is reaching peace and accord in the country and it could be an example of successful Russian-US cooperation. The two countries can be leaders in the strives to return displaced people to their homes and resolving the humanitarian crisis. He also stated that US could take the lead in resolving the situation.
Trump said that US coordinates closely with Israel on it, creating safety of Israel is paramount. He has taken a strong stance towards Iran and its presence in Southern Syria and praises the effect it has had out and inside of Iran.
“We both spoke with Bibi and they would like to do certain things with Syria having to do with the safety of Israel,” Trump said. “Russia and the United States will work jointly.”
“Creating safety for Israel is something both Putin and I would like to see very much.”
Putin put forward his concerns of US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the settlement of the Iranian nuclear problem. Russia’s position remains unchanged and he emphasized that owing to the nuclear deal, Iran has become the most verifiable country in the world under the of the International Atomic Energy Agency and that in itself ensures the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian Nuclear Program.
President Putin was also pleased with the de-escalation of the Korean Crisis and admitted that it is owed in no small part to Trump’s direct participation in the talks.
Trump then reiterated once more that dialogue with Russia is improving and that is the way to pave the path to a more peaceful and stable world and has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.
The Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, who also met with US Foreign Minister Pompeo said that Trump-Putin meeting went “Better than Super”.