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Putin said that Trump adhered to the position on the illegality of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. He has stressed once again that this matter is "closed" for the Russian Federation.
"We believe that we have held a referendum, strictly following the international law, the UN Charter; for us, for Russia, this matter is closed. That is all," he claimed. The Russian president has traditionally called Donbas war "an intra-Ukrainian conflict," and advised the United States to press on Ukraine to implement the Minsk accords. Trump did not comment on the Ukrainian question.
On Nord Stream – 2
Putin assured Trump that the Russian Federation is ready to preserve the transit of gas through Ukraine after the construction of the Nord Stream – 2 in case of dispute settlement by business entities at the Stockholm Arbitration Court.
At the same time, Trump has warned that the US intends to compete with this project in providing Europe with gas. The American president has also noted that the United States is now the world leader in the production of oil and gas.
On the interference of the Russian Federation in the elections in the United States
Putin said he repeated Trump again that "the Russian Federation has never interfered and is not going to interfere in US domestic affairs, including in the electoral process." At the same time, he said that within the framework of the Cybersecurity Group, the Russian Federation is ready to provide evidence of interference in the American elections, if any of them are published. The Russian president also admitted that he supported Trump's victory in the elections. He explained this by the fact that Trump advocated normalization of relations with Russia. The US president, in turn, said that the "electoral question" drove Russia and the United States apart.
"Too bad it saddened our relations, but the most important thing was that there was no conspiracy. I was not familiar with the president, so I had no one to collude in terms of the elections. We had a great campaign and won them perfectly," he said. According to Trump, this issue "negatively affected the relations of the two largest nuclear powers."
"President Putin says that this is not Russia, I see no reason why it should be it," he stressed.
According to Putin, Russia and the United States can take the lead in establishing peace in Syria. "We have all the necessary components for the effective cooperation on the Syrian plot," he stressed.
Trump called the crisis in Syria "difficult." He stressed the importance of cooperation with Moscow on this matter. He added that the military of the two countries "get along very well" in Syria.
On the Korean Peninsula
According to Putin, the Korean Peninsula issue has gradually begun to be resolved. Thanks to Trump, among other things. The US President expressed his hope for cooperation between Moscow and Washington on the issue of denuclearization of the DPRK.
According to Trump, he has discussed radical Islamic terrorism with Putin. The special services of the two countries would continue to cooperate in the issue of countering terrorism. Trump also recalled that last year the US Central Intelligence Agency warned the Russian Federation about the preparation of the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, as a result of which it was prevented.
Putin agreed with Trump on the creation of a high-level group that would "unite the captains of Russian and American business."
"We paid special attention to the economy, and we certainly have an interest in cooperation between the business circles of both countries. To promote mutual trade and investment, President Trump and I agreed to create a high-level group that would unite the captains of Russian and American business," he noted. According to Putin, businessmen of both countries should make proposals on establishing cooperation.
Putin praised Trump for his interaction within the Korean issue. According to him, the US president "builds a dialogue in the spirit of cooperation, not confrontation." At the same time, Trump explained that he still considered Putin a good rival, but called it "a compliment." At the same time, he added: "I think that we will compete."
Putin wished the United States to successfully host the World Cup-2026 and gave Trump the official ball of the 2018 World Cup. Trump gave a gift to his wife Melania and promised to give it to his youngest son. American senator Lindsey Graham advised Trump to check Putin's ball whether there were spy gears in it.
The US President presented Putin a T-shirt of Russian hockey player Alexander Ovechkin, who plays for the Washington Capitals team, as well as a hockey puck. This season, this club won the Stanley Cup.
Trump’s and Putin’s impressions from negotiations
Putin called the talks with Trump very successful and useful. The meeting, he said, was held in a frank and businesslike atmosphere.
"Not all our positions always coincide, but there are also many interests that overlap. We need to seek common ground and interact more closely, including in international forums... We have had a good talk with Trump, and I hope we have got more understanding of each other. And I am grateful to Donald for this," the Russian president stressed.
He agreed that "numerous problems remain." Also, the president of the Russian Federation said about the trust: "Nobody can be trusted, why did you take that president Trump trusts me, and I fully trust him?" He defends the interests of the United States, while I protect the interests of the Russian Federation. "
Trump said that the relationship between the Russian Federation and the United States has never been worse than now. But, he said, diplomacy is better than conflict, and a productive dialogue will be useful for the whole world. Trump believes that today's talks have already changed the situation. "This is only the beginning of a long process, it was a very constructive day," he stressed and expressed hope for frequent meetings in the future.
"I hope we will solve all the problems that were discussed today," he said.
Negotiations against the background of the protests
Trump and Putin met in Helsinki amid numerous protests. The meeting gathered opponents of the policies of both presidents. People came out with calls to stop wars, to soften migration policies and favor equality in the rights of the LGBT community. Many Ukrainians joined the rally, in particular, the sister of Oleg Sentsov, Natalia Kaplan. The protesters unfurled the flags "Mr. President, welcome you on the land of the free press", "Helsinki is for human rights," "Crimea is Ukraine," "FreeSentsov."
The first reaction to the meeting between Putin and Trump
A number of American congressmen sharply criticized Trump for his behavior at the talks with Putin. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is convinced that the US president "has lost the opportunity to firmly hold the Russian Federation accountable for interference in the elections and to prevent the following interventions." In his opinion, this behavior of the US president is a sign of weakness.
Republican senator Jeff Flake called Trump's words about the US fault in bad relations with the Russian Federation shameful. The leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Charles Schumer, called Trump's position on Russia's intervention in US elections "reckless, dangerous and weak."