Monday, October 22, 2018 | ePaper

Trump-Putin summit

US seeks better ties with Russia

  • Print


US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.



US President Donald Trump has said that getting on with Russia is "a good thing, not a bad thing" at the start of his first summit with Vladimir Putin.
Mr Trump said he hoped for an "extraordinary relationship" as the two presidents met in Helsinki, Finland.
Earlier, Mr Trump blamed US-Russia tensions on previous administrations.
Relations were severely strained by Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and by claims that Russia helped Mr Trump win the 2016 election.
Some US politicians called for the summit to be cancelled after 12 Russian military intelligence agents were charged on Friday with hacking the presidential campaign of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
But writing on Twitter, Mr Trump put the blame for the deterioration in relations with Russia on "years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt".
In response, Russia's foreign affairs ministry tweeted: "We agree."
Mr Trump's tweet is likely to alarm White House advisers already nervous about the risks of ceding too much ground to the Russian leader during the talks.
The summit - in which the two leaders are being joined only by their interpreters - comes after a tumultuous European tour that saw Mr Trump sharply criticise longstanding allies of the US over trade and military spending.
Russia has been criticised in the US because of its military support for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria as well as its destabilising actions in Ukraine.
Relations have also been damaged by accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election, and Trump campaign collusion in the effort. The allegations are being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Mr Trump has consistently denounced the inquiry as a "witch hunt". The 12 Russians indicted on Friday were targeted as part of Mr Mueller's investigation.
Image caption Protesters in Finland have been urging Mr Trump to focus on human rights ahead of his visit.
Top Democrats including party chairman Tom Perez urged Mr Trump to cancel the talks, saying Mr Putin was "not a friend of the United States".
On the Republican side, Senator John McCain said the summit "should not move forward" unless the president "is prepared to hold Putin accountable".
Russia denied the hacking allegations, and said it looked forward to the talks as a vehicle for improving relations.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton has said that both sides have agreed the meeting will have no set agenda. But he said he found it "hard to believe" Mr Putin would not expect the alleged election hacking to be brought up.
"That's what one of the purposes of this meeting is, so the president can see eye to eye with President Putin and ask him about it," he told ABC News.
Image caption The two leaders will meet at the presidential palace in Helsinki
Mr Trump has also been urged to raise the poisoning of two people in the UK who came into contact with the nerve agent Novichok on 30 June. Investigators believe the incident is linked to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in March.
Mr Trump elaborated on what would be discussed at the summit during a joint news conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May last week.
"We'll be talking about Syria," he said. "We'll be talking about other parts of the Middle East. I will be talking about nuclear proliferation."
This is not the first time US and Russian leaders have met in Helsinki.
Finland remained politically and militarily neutral after World War Two, as the US and Soviet Union went headlong into the Cold War, making it an attractive meeting spot for the two superpowers.
The city was a backdrop to the signing of the 1975 Helsinki Accords, which are credited for improving relations between the Soviet Union and Western countries.
Helsinki remained a destination in the post-Soviet era, and the Trump-Putin summit is the fourth such meeting in the city.
His tour has included a Nato summit in Belgium and a visit to the UK. Neither passed without controversy. Following the Nato summit, Mr Trump said the allies had pledged to "substantially" raise their defence budgets but other leaders cast doubt on this claim.
The UK visit also had its ups and downs after Mr Trump told a newspaper the US would probably not give the UK a trade deal under the terms of Mrs May's Brexit plans - and then later appeared to backtrack on this position.
He also said Europe was "losing its character" because of immigration from Africa and the Middle East.
On Sunday, just before he departed for Helsinki, Mr Trump described the European Union as a foe on trade. He told CBS News that European countries were taking advantage of the US and not paying their Nato bills.

More News For this Category

Abuse of police power in defamation cases is undesirable

Court Reporter :The basic thing about a defamation case is a person-to-person case and police should not have any special interest for arresting and harassing the accused because no state

Imrul hits ton Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe

Imrul hits ton Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe

Sports Reporter :Favourites Bangladesh registered an easy 28-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first ODI at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Sunday.Electing to bat first,

6 bodies including 4 bullet-hit found in Dhaka, N'ganj

Staff Reporter :At least six unclaimed bodies, including four bullet-hit, were found in Narayanganj and Dhaka districts on Sunday. The identities of the deceased, aged between 30 and 35, could

West Zone Power inks deal with Chinese firm

Staff Reporter :The country for the first time will produce pre-paid electricity meter in joint venture with a Chines company which will save huge foreign currency from importing the meter.State-owned

Mainul Hosein gets anticipatory bail in two cases

Staff Reporter :Barrister Mainul Hosein has secured anticipatory bail for five months in the High Court in two separate defamation cases filed over hurling abuses at journalist Masuda Bhatti in

BNP's Leader Amir Khosru sent to jail in ICT case

A court has scrapped the bail of BNP Standing Committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury in an ICT Act case and sent him to jail.Chattogram Metropolitan Sessions Judge Akbar Hossain

Inu hints at changes to Digital Security Act

bdnews24.com :Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has hinted at the possibility of revisions to the Digital Security Act and called for cooperation between the government and the media to tackle

Tk 1000cr Chinese consortium funds to hit capital market this week: DSE boss

Monirul Alam :The Chinese consortium funds-Tk. 1000 crore-is likely to enter the capital market this week as the revenue authority has completed formalities on issuing the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO)

Oikyafront finally gets permission for Sylhet rally

UNB, Sylhet :Jatiya Oikyafront has finally been given permission for holding its rescheduled public rally at the city's Registry Field on Wednesday."Oikyafront has been given permission for its rally," Sylhet

Zafrullah gets bail in 2 cases

bdnews24.com :The High Court has granted Gonoshasthaya Kendra trustee Zafrullah Chowdhury advance bail in two cases over illegally occupying land in Ashulia, vandalism and extortion.The pro-BNP public health advocate appeared