Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Putin for 'business-like' talks with US

ANI | Updated: Jul 16, 2018 20:32 IST

Helsinki [Finland], Jul 16 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday urged the United States to have a business-like conversation with Russia as there were a lot of things happening in the world.
Putin gave the statement in Russian when he posed for photographs with his American counterpart Donald Trump, prior to their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki.
"Distinguished president (US President Donald Trump), I am delighted to be able to meet you here in Finland. We have been in continual contact by telephone since the last time, and obviously the time has come to have a business-like conversation because there is so much happening in the world that we need to talk about," Putin was quoted by CNN, as saying.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are also holding talks parallel to the summit.
The official Twitter handle of the Finnish presidential office posted an image of the three presidents from the US, Finland and Russia - Trump, Sauli Niinisto and Putin.
"Three Presidents at the Presidential Palace in #Helsinki: President of the United States of America @realDonaldTrump, President of #Finland Sauli @Niinisto and President of #Russia. #HELSINKI2018," Ninnisto's presidential office tweeted.



Earlier, Trump met his Russian counterpart at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, marking the official beginning of the summit between the two leaders. As the two presidents exchanged pleasantries, both sat down, with Trump starting to make statements.
Praising Russia for successfully hosting the FIFA World Cup tournament, Trump said, "I would like to congratulate you on a very great world cup. It was one of the best ever. I watched the entire final and the semifinals. They were spectacular games."
The US President noted that he would be talking about "good things" during his one-on-one talks with Putin.
Trump added: "We have a lot of good things to talk about. We will have discussions on everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear (weapons) to China. We will be talking a little bit about China, our mutual friend, President Xi (Jinping). I think we have great opportunities together. Frankly, we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years. I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship."
He further said that the world wanted Washington D.C. and Moscow to get along.
Calling nuclear weapons a "bad thing," Trump said: "We are two great nuclear powers. It's a bad thing. Hopefully, we can do something about it. It's not a positive force, it's a negative force.
After Trump's statements, he and Putin shook hands before the media.
The two leaders held one-on-one talks that stretched to over two hours, instead of the usual 90 minutes.
The meeting took place in the background of allegations of Russia's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. It also came after the US Department of Justice indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for conspiring to hack into the Democrats' computers and steal documents and interfering in the election campaign, as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
The summit was delayed earlier by almost an hour after Putin made a late arrival to Helsinki from Moscow. Trump, who arrived in the Finnish capital earlier, was lodged in a hotel in the city and was waiting for his Russian counterpart's arrival.
Ahead of the summit, Trump, in a tweet, blamed Washington D.C.'s foolishness and stupidity for the poor state of relations with Moscow.
He also criticised special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation stemming from the alleged election meddling by Russia in the 2016 US presidential election, calling it a "rigged witch hunt."
"Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" he tweeted.
Trump also blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for the Russians meddling in the elections.
"President Obama thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn't happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it. When I won it became a big deal and the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by Strzok!" he tweeted. (ANI)

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