BEYOND THE NOISE: What ELSE did Trump and Putin discuss at Helsinki?


After the meeting between the Russian and US leaders, they held a joint press conference commenting on topical issues of mutual interest such as the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, the alleged Russian interference in the US elections and the Iranian nuclear deal.

The Russian leader discussed with his counterpart the Iranian issue, especially the exit of the US from the nuclear agreement.

Putin expressed Russia’s concerns about the US exit from the nuclear deal and stressed that Moscow’s position remains the same.

Resolution of the Korean crisis and conflict in Ukraine

Another international issue addressed was the regulation of the situation on the Korean peninsula. Putin highlighted in particular Trump’s efforts to improve the situation.

“This has become possible mainly because the regulation [of the North Korean crisis] has personally united President Donald Trump, building a dialogue in the spirit of cooperation and not confrontation,” he said.

Speaking of the situation in Ukraine, Putin again stressed the importance of complying with the Minsk accords, focusing on Washington’s insistence.

“We have discussed the situation in Ukraine. It is important to comply with the Minsk agreements – the United States could insist more on this and encourage the Ukrainian government to work in this direction,” he said.

Russian “interference”

During the speech, the Russian leader also addressed the issue of Russian interference in the elections. According to him, this issue should focus on facts and not on temporary political interests. “To talk about a collusion with Trump in the context of the US elections would be absurd,” he said.

In Vladimir Putin’s view only the court can issue the final decision on Russia’s alleged interference in the elections.

When the allegedly compromising material that Russia had about Trump, Putin replied that he did not even know about Trump when he came to Moscow on business.

“You cannot imagine greater foolishness than that, forget that stupidity,” Putin said.

For Putin, the theme of the suppposed Russian intervention and collusion with Trump are just a “currency of exchange” in the game between American politicians.

Arguing again against the alleged intervention of Russian citizens in the US presidential elections, the president recalled that he also worked on intelligence and knows how to create dossiers.

“I also worked in the intelligence services and I know how the respective dossiers are created,” he said.

Statute of the Crimea

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The status of the Crimean peninsula was also addressed during the joint press conference.

Although Donald Trump continues to find the reunification of Crimea with Russia as illegal, Putin stressed that the Russian side has a different opinion and for Moscow the matter is closed.

“The position of President Trump over the Crimea is known, he continues to maintain it, speaking of the illegality of the unification of the Crimea to Russia. We consider that we held a referendum in strict conformity with international law, with the Charter of the United Nations. for Russia, the matter is closed,” Putin said.

Syrian subject

The Russian leader believes that Moscow has all the conditions to cooperate with Washington in resolving the Syrian crisis.

“As far as Syria is concerned, resolving the task of restoring peace and agreement in that country could become a successful model of joint work. Russia and the US could undoubtedly take the lead in this matter and organize interaction to end the crisis and help the return of refugees to their homelands,” Putin said.

Responding to the question of who now belongs to the initiative in regulating the Syrian crisis, President Putin gave a ball of the 2018 World Cup to his American counterpart.

“Russian and American military personnel have had a useful experience of cooperation and coordination, have set up operational communication channels, which has allowed us to avoid dangerous incidents and unpredictable confrontations on the battlefield, in the air and on the ground,” Putin added.

Situation around the Golan Heights

After the final defeat of the terrorists in Syria, it is necessary to solve the problem of the Golan Heights, said the leader.

“After the final defeat of terrorists in southwestern Syria … the situation in the Golan Heights should be established in full accordance with the 1974 agreement on the separation of Israeli and Syrian troops,” he said.

For Putin, this will restore peace to the Golan Heights, restore the ceasefire regime between Syria and Israel, and ensure Israel’s security.

The Russian leader summarized that the negotiations with the US counterpart had taken place in a sincere, successful and useful environment.

According to him, the environment of tension has no meaning in bilateral relations, because the Cold War is over.

“The time of tough ideological confrontation between the two countries is in the past, the situation in the world has changed radically,” Putin said during the joint conference with Trump.

Nowadays, Moscow and Washington are facing other challenges, including regional crises, rising terrorist threats and problems in the world economy, among others. However, he expressed the hope that the powers can reach a mutual understanding to solve the problems together.

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