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July 7-8, G-20 summit took place in Hamburg. Every year (since 2008), leaders of the 19 most economically developed countries of the world and the European Union gather to discuss pressing economic and political issues and find common ground on global problems. The G20 summit in Hamburg was held under the slogan "shaping of an interconnected world." The key attention was paid to issues of free trade and climate change, settlement of conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, counteraction to the North Korean nuclear program, problem of terrorism. On the sidelines of the summit, the leaders of the participating countries have discussed issues of bilateral relations.
Member countries of the G20 club, the EU countries that are not represented separately are in blue, and the guests of the summit in Hamburg are in pink
Negotiations with Putin on the sidelines
Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin talked for over two hours in the presence of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and two interpreters. Tillerson said that Trump and Putin quickly found a common language. Lavrov said that the talks were purely political. He stressed that the parties discussed issues related to Syria, Ukraine, North Korea and the fight against terrorism. During the conversation with journalists, they were rather laconic and did not want to talk about the details of the talks.
Vladimir Putin assured Donald Trump and other summit participants that Russia allegedly did not interfere in the US election campaign. Despite the fact that the investigation of the American special services about hacker attacks by Russia has not yet been completed, Trump did not focus on this problem. Tillerson stressed that Trump was interested in leaving the topic of cyberattacks and "moving on". In his opinion, the US and Russia are going to create a joint working group that would develop a special agreement on cyberterrorism and mutual non-interference in the electoral process. Although, the Americans have not yet decided to return to the Russian diplomatic mission the buildings seized by former President Barack Obama after the hacker attacks. The return of these buildings was allowed as a possible concession.
One gets the impression that Donald Trump deliberately omitted the subject of Russia's interference in the American elections in order to encourage the "master of the Kremlin" to take new agreements on Syria. The presidents have tentatively agreed on a ceasefire in southern Syria on July 9, which is mandatory for all parties to the conflict not affiliated with terrorist organizations. The United States and Russia will guarantee compliance with the ceasefire and provide humanitarian assistance to the region.
However, the leaders of the United States and Russia did not say anything about the future fate of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. According to The Daily Beast data, which were published on the eve of the talks, the US can agree to retain Bashar Assad in power and create the security zones proposed by Russia in Syria. Russian troops will patrol the security zone. The US can take such steps in order to concentrate on the destruction of ISIS. It is too early to talk about the normalization of relations between Russia and the United States. Trump has not yet verified Vladimir Putin in the case. Russian authorities are inclined to break security agreements. Those parties of the conflict, which are sponsored by Russia, repeatedly violated the cease-fire regime, both in Ukraine and in Syria.
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin also discussed the Ukrainian issue. Sergei Lavrov said that the settlement of the conflict in Donbas would continue in the Minsk format and the United States did not offer any alternative scenario. The United States and Russia agreed to create a separate channel for negotiations on Ukraine. In the near future, American special representative on the Ukrainian question to visited Moscow. Recall that while on a visit to Warsaw, Donald Trump in his public speech stated that Russia's destabilizing actions in Ukraine and other regions pose a threat to the West.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron during talks with Vladimir Putin confirmed the importance of adherence to the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, according to the Minsk agreements. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the parties have an understanding that it is necessary to take effective measures for a ceasefire on the contact line and the removal of heavy weapons in Donbas. No one specified what measures were discussed. The parties agreed to hold telephone talks in the Norman format. Emmanuel Macron also discussed the Ukrainian issue with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the summit.
At the G20 summit, the issues of toughening anti-Russian sanctions and returning Crimea to Ukraine were not discussed. Although, the issue of tightening anti-Russian sanctions is still relevant in the US Congress. On the first day of the G20 summit, Republican Senator Ed Royce introduced a bill on the imposition of new sanctions for Russia’s violation of treaty on the elimination of medium and short-range missiles in 1987. In February 2017, the Russian Federation allegedly secretly placed in the territory of the Kaliningrad region a prohibited SSC cruise missile-8.
Complex negotiations on trade and climate
According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, negotiations on trade were very difficult, and this is connected with the policy of protectionism of Donald Trump. His opinion was at variance with the position of other participants. The American president is convinced that, because of the G20 leaders' adherence to free trade, the US trade deficit reached about 800 billion dollars a year. Earlier, Donald Trump broke the agreement on the Pacific Trade Partnership with the APR countries and refused to sign an agreement with the EU on the Transatlantic trade and investment partnership. Trump did not change his attitude towards the Paris Agreement on Climate Protection and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Trump stressed the importance of energy development, before leaving for talks with Putin.
Most of the leaders of the G-20 countries are ready to promote the development of free trade, to refuse tariffs and duties. Participants stressed the importance of the World Trade Organization and expressed their commitment to the Paris Agreement.
On the sidelines of the summit British Prime Minister Teresa May, discussed options for boosting trade and economic relations with Japan, China, the United States, and other countries that are not part of the EU. Prime Ministers Theresa May and her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe considered the possibility of concluding a new trade agreement between Britain and Japan after Brexit. Teresa May is interested in the fact that after leaving the EU the UK could use the benefits of the recently concluded free trade zone agreement between Japan and the EU.
President Vladimir Putin joined Donald Trump in a small discussion. He stressed that one cannot talk about the fairness of world trade in conditions of financial and trade restrictions. In his opinion, the United States is a leader by the number of restrictions against other countries (30 restrictions). Putin said that Russia opposes the policy of protectionism. Representatives of Brazil, India, China and South Africa agreed with him. Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the G-20 countries to defend the openness of world trade, strengthen cooperation in economic policy and prevent risks in financial markets.
Representatives of the European Union took a tough stance on the protection of Trump. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the Council of the European Union Donald Tusk threatened to take retaliatory measures against the US if Donald Trump starts a trade war with the EU and introduces new tariffs on imports of steel to protect the interests of American metallurgists.
Fighting against terrorism
The summit participants adopted a collective statement on measures to combat terrorism. They agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of information exchange between intelligence and law enforcement agencies and to bring terrorists to criminal liability. An agreement was reached on improving the international information architecture in the sphere of security, migration, and improving Interpol's activities. The G20 urged border and customs services to strengthen cooperation in the field of terrorist identification in order to prevent their entry into their countries. The leaders of the G20 countries agreed to hinder the financing of terrorist organizations and the use of the Internet for the purposes of extremism.
According to British Prime Minister Theresa May, public services should work more actively with the private sector to prevent money from falling into the hands of terrorists. Theresa May is convinced that it is necessary to establish surveillance for persons who come from Syria and Iraq. Putin highlighted the need for collective action in order to neutralize the political, economic, social and ideological conditions of terrorist expansion. Although Russia personally sponsors the terrorist organizations of DPR and LPR in Donbas.
The containment of North Korea
On the margins of the G20 summit, Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to introduce new sanctions against North Korea, which on July 4 tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that fell in the exclusive economic zone of Japan. They agreed to strengthen the tripartite alliance in containing North Korea's nuclear program. Donald Trump confirmed the US commitment to protect Japan and South Korea from North Korea's aggression, using "traditional and nuclear capabilities." The United States and South Korea conducted military exercises simulating the imposition of missile strikes.
Apparently, G20 countries still harbor hopes that Chinese leader Xi Jinping will be able to persuade the supreme leader of the DPRK Kim Jong-un to curtail the nuclear missile program. Donald Trump, Teresa May and her Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull called on the Chinese leadership to exert more stringent pressure on the DPRK, using the factor of dependence of the North Korean economy on China. The international community continues to try to blame the decision of the North Korean problem on China's shoulders. Since the April meeting of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in Florida, Chinese side has not been able to persuade the supreme leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un, to abandon the development of nuclear weapons. The current international sanctions against North Korea do not have the necessary effect.