WASHINGTON, U.S. – With the U.S. President Donald Trump set to meet the Russian President Vladimir Putin at their maiden summit on July 16, the meeting is already creating a buzz in both the countries.
Trump stands to face domestic criticism as the meeting comes at a time when the country’s Justice Department is intensifying its probe into Russian collusion.
It also comes at a time when ties between the U.S. and Russia are at their lowest.
For Putin meanwhile, Russia’s ties with the West is already facing several challenges, and now he would be hoping that ties between Moscow and Washington, which Trump has sought to improve even before being elected,
Even though the two leaders have spoken warmly about each other ever since the start of the Trump administration, ties between the two countries have worsened especially over claims of meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on his way to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the weekend, Trump clarified that nothing was off the table for his upcoming meeting with Putin.
He told reporters, “I’ll talk to him about everything,” even pointing out that he planned to address election integrity when the two leaders come face to face in Helsinki, Finland.
Trump said, “We don’t want anyone tampering with elections.”
Russia has constantly denied any interference in the 2016 elections, even though U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded otherwise.
Trump too maintains there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election, yet several federal investigations continue.
Trump told the White House press pool that the other issues that are likely to come up include Ukraine, Syria, Crimea and issues involving former President Barack Obama.
The U.S. President reiterated that he believed Obama was to blame for the loss of Crimea, a strategic peninsula.
Subsequently, Russia was expelled from what was the G-8 over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
But Trump argued, “We might be talking about some things President Obama lost. Don’t forget, President Obama gave up Crimea. That was totally given up by President Obama…No, he lost — President Obama allowed that to happen, which was very unfortunate. It was during President Obama’s term…I think it could’ve been handled much differently…which is a shame, frankly.”
However, when questioned on whether the U.S. would recognize Russia’s claim to Crimea, Trump said, “We’re going to have to see.”
Further, Trump pointed out that he didn’t see a problem with having good relationships with Russia and China.
He added, “Perhaps the world can de-escalate, with China, Russia…maybe the world can somewhat deescalate. We might be talking about some things President Obama lost.”
This article provided by NewsEdge.