President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time face-to-face on July 7th during the G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany.
Before Friday’s meeting, Trump had sent out a tweet that indicated that he was looking forward to the meeting and had a lot to discuss with Vladimir Putin. Although, right before the meeting, on Thursday, Trump listed a variety of grievances concerning Russia, including the Kremlin’s support for hostile regimes like Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Trump called on Putin to join the community of responsible nations and fight against common enemies to defend civilization itself.
The issues facing the United States and Russia vary ,and include what to do about North Korea, Syria and Iran. Before the meeting, it was hoped that the two countries would work on some of this issues more collaboratively. After the two presidents met, it seems like we’re close than ever to this actually happening.
The two leaders expressed confidence that their two countries were on a positive trajectory, with Trump telling reporters that he and Putin had a “very good” talk.
Reporters were initially allowed in the room for a brief time for statements. Afterward, they were ushered out and talks continued. The meeting lasted much longer than intended – slated to last only 35 minutes, but it went on well beyond that.
One of the biggest questions was whether or not Trump would address rumors that Russia meddled in the election. Trump has recently refused on accept the conclusion made by United States intelligence agencies that Russia interfered with the election. He has vehemently denied that he colluded with Russia to win the election.
Trump has been under a lot of pressure from both Democrats and Republicans in Washington to confront Putin over allegations of interference into the election. Several United States senators wrote in a letter right before the meeting that Trump would be abandoning his presidential duty if he fails to make it clear to Putin that their interference in America’s democratic process will not be tolerated.
Whether or not the two leaders discussed Russian meddling in the election was not initially very clear. Neither Trump or Putin offered many details about what they discussed, saying only that they were discussing “bilateral issues” “and “international problems.” They also discussed cyber crime, trade and counterterrorism.
Although President Trump ignored questions about the election meddling scandal that were yelled by reporters on the day of the meeting, it was later revealed the two did discuss election tampering.
Some of the thornier issues were likely discussed in private during the two-hour meeting. Regardless, both Trump and Putin expressed that the meeting was positive and would yield good results and this seemed to happen. After the talk, it was announced that the two leaders agreed on a ceasefire in Southwestern Syria. This is a significant positive development for the two countries.
Ahead of the election, Trump consistently called for normalized relations between the United States and its former Cold War enemy – and it looks like he’s delivering on this promise. The two agreed to work on improving ties rather than focusing on problems in the past. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that both leaders hope to move on from past allegations.
Many liberals who argue that Trump is colluding with Putin ignore the positive that will come from the two countries working in tandem to combat terrorism, which will put an end to the deaths of innocent people.
From what happened at the G20 Summit, we can conclude that Trump is actively working on improving the United States diplomatic relationship with Russia. This is a step in the right direction for the two countries.
~ Liberty Planet