Donald Trump

Maintaining International Security Responsibility of Both United States, Russia, Says Vladimir Putin

New Delhi, July 17: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that it was the responsibility of both the United States and Russia to maintain international security. Addressing a joint press conference with his US counterpart Donald Trump in Helsinki, Putin said, “As major nuclear powers, we (Russia and the US) bear a special responsibility for maintaining international security.”

While acknowledging that the bilateral relations between the two countries were “complicated”, Putin called his meeting with Trump “fruitful”. President Trump opened his statement by saying that he was there “to continue the proud tradition of bold American diplomacy,” and added that diplomacy and dialogue were preferable to conflict and hostility.

Trump said, “I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. We’ve all been foolish. We should have frankly had this dialogue a long time ago. I think that we’re all to blame. I think that the United States has now stepped forward along with Russia.”

Speaking on the Syria crisis, Trump said, “The crisis in Syria is a complex one. Cooperation between our two countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives. I also made clear that US won’t allow Iran to take benefit from our successful campaign against ISIS.”

The two countries are also deadlocked on Russia’s role in Syria and Ukraine as well as the Iran nuclear deal, which Washington has torn apart despite continued support from the rest of the parties, including Russia and the European Union.

On Russia’s alleged help to Trump during the 2016 US presidential elections, Putin said, “Where did you get this idea that President Trump trusts me or I trust him? He defends the interest of the United States of America & I do defend the interest of Russian Federation.”

The meeting was overshadowed by US indictment of 12 Russians last week, who were accused of meddling in the 2016 US Presidential elections. Trump came under great pressure to raise the alleged meddling with Putin, who has, on numerous occasions, denied any wrongdoing.

Later, Putin presented Trump with an official ball of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and wished the American leader success with the organisation of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Putin handed over the official match ball of the 2018 World Cup to Trump at a press conference after their summit talks, said Tass news agency. “Mr President, I will give this ball to you and now the ball is in your court. All the more that the US will host the World cup in 2026,” Putin said.

This is the fourth time a summit is being held between the presidents of both the countries in Helsinki. The first summit was held in 1975 between then US president Gerald Ford and Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev in the Finnish capital amid the heightening tensions between the two superpowers during the Cold War period, according to The Washington Post.

(With agency inputs)

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