US presidents Donald Trump and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin began their first meeting on Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, an AFP journalist said.
“It’s an honor to be with you,” said Donald Trump.
“I am delighted to meet you and I hope that (…) this meeting will result in a positive result,” said Vladimir Putin.
“We talked on the phone, but telephone conversations are never enough,” he said.
The two leaders have spoken on the phone four times since the arrival of Donald Trump in power in the United States, but have never had a tete-a-tete.
On Friday, President Putin described the talks as “very, very good”.
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National Security Advisor General HR McMaster then stressed that Donald Trump wanted a “more constructive” relationship with Russia and that one of the goals of the US President’s trip to Europe was to put in place “a common approach Facing Russia “and” responding to the destabilizing behavior “of Russian power.
In December 2015, months before Donald Trump’s election to the White House, Vladimir Putin called the Republican candidate a “brilliant and talented man” and “undisputed favorite of the presidential race.” In return, Mr. Trump had at the time praised in his future counterpart “a strong leader”, “a powerful leader.” But the two men never met.
In fact, relations between Russia and the United States are at their lowest since Washington strengthened sanctions against Moscow for its role in the Ukrainian crisis.
The United States also opposed Moscow by launching a punitive strike against the Syrian Army after the alleged assault of Khan Cheikhoun in April. In response, Russia briefly interrupted military coordination with the United States in Syria to avoid incidents between the forces of the two countries.
Vladimir Putin had judged a few days later in an interview with the Russian press that relations between Russia and the United States had “deteriorated” since the arrival of Donald Trump in the White House.
The US president’s promises to normalize relations between Moscow and Washington also ran into accusations of collusion between Russia and members of Donald Trump’s campaign team.
Despite tensions with Moscow, the US president has always seemed to hold back his criticism of the Russian president. In particular, he never clearly accepted the conclusions of the US intelligence agencies that Russia was guilty of interfering in the November 2016 presidential election.