The polar opposite of what was reported in the American media. Which is more accurate?, see for yourself.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
We think Russian TV reflects the truth better.
Full transcript follows below:
"Sincere, businesslike and successful" is what Vladimir Putin called today's talks with Donald Trump in Helsinki.
The whole world anticipated the first full-scale summit of the current presidents of Russia and the US. And it turned out that they didn't wait in vain.
Addressing the media, the politicians explained in detail how they were going to revive the relations of the two superpowers and in what fields we should expect the first steps of Washington and Moscow.
—Alexey, hello. What did the presidents agree on? We're waiting for the details.
—Ernest, hello. The press conference is over. In anticipation of it, journalists speculated on what it would look like, what they would hear, what the mood of Trump and Putin would be when they would speak to the media. Putin and Trump appeared before journalists.
I suggest watching their first statements.
“It's quite clear to everyone that the bilateral relations are going through a complicated stage and yet those impediments — the current tensions — are groundless.
The Cold War ended long ago, the era of acute ideological confrontation between our countries belongs to the distant past, and the situation in the world has fundamentally changed.
Today, both Russia and the United States face a whole new set of challenges: the mechanisms of international security and stability are dangerously out of balance, there are regional crises, the spread of the threat of terrorism and cross-border crime, crime in general, growing world economic problems, environmental, and other sets of challenges.
It is possible to cope with all this only by working together. Of course, numerous problems remain. We have not managed to clear all the blockages, which would be impossible in one meeting. But I believe we have taken an important first step in this direction.”
"But our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed, as of about four hours ago. I really believe that.
These were very constructive few hours that we spent together. It is in the interests of both of our countries to continue our conversation, and we have agreed to do so. I am sure we will be meeting again in the future often."
Now we see the Russian presidential cortege leaving the Presidential Palace. It's now safe to discuss the outcome of today's meeting. Of course, journalists at the press conference weren't only interested in the rhetoric, but also if any concrete agreements had been reached. Indeed, they did reach some agreements. To be more specific, Russia gave the US a memo on restricting nuclear weapons. And there's something else.
“To advance mutual trade and investment, President Trump and I agreed to create a high-level group that would bring together the captains of Russian and American business. Entrepreneurs and businesspeople know better how to articulate a successful business partnership.
Let them consider what can be done and make recommendations in this regard. And clearly, it's time to revive the relations of Russian and US NGOs in the cultural and humanitarian field.
You know that we have recently hosted a delegation from American congressmen, which is portrayed almost like a historic event. However, it should be a routine event.”
Putin and Trump are known to have discussed as many acute issues as possible, including bilateral and international relations. They touched upon the situation in Ukraine.
“Returning to our discussion of the Ukrainian crisis, the importance of observing the Minsk agreements in good faith was noted. The United States could be more decisive in encouraging the Ukrainian leadership to do it.”
Remarkably, it's Putin whom American journalists asked to convey Trump's stance on Crimea.
Trump has actually recently frightened the US press by the possible recognition of Crimea as a subject of the Russian Federation.
The US and Europe haven't done it yet. In this context, American journalists asked Putin to convey both his stance and Trump's stance. Here's what he answered.
“The stance of President Trump on Crimea is well known. He sticks to it, maintaining that the Russian Federation illegally annexed it. Our point of view is different. We believe that we held a referendum in strict compliance with the UN Charter and international law. For the Russian Federation, it's a done deal.”
The presidents also discussed Syria, the stabilization and political settlement there; as well as the attendant migration crisis. Indeed, the European states have felt it. The migration issue hasn't been solved yet.
Migrants are still in harsh conditions in Europe and the countries bordering Syria. In this context, Putin presented his vision of a solution to the crisis.
“The crucial thing here is that a lot of refugees are now in Turkey, in Lebanon, in Jordan, that is, in the states that border Syria.
By helping people return home, we will decrease the migratory pressure on the European and other states several-fold.
I consider this to be extremely important from all standpoints: both from the humanitarian standpoint, and that of solving the refugee problem.”
Indeed, Putin and Trump discussed dozens of issues during the meeting today, covering bilateral relations and Europe as well. Interestingly, Trump was reminded of his referring to Putin as a competitor. Today, it concerned competition both in the gas field and in Ukraine. Here's what we heard.
"Actually, I called him a competitor and a good competitor he is. And I think the word competitor is a compliment.
I think that we will be competing when you talk about the pipeline. I'm not sure that it's in the best interest of Germany, but that was a decision that they made. We'll be competing.
As you know, the United States is now the largest in the oil and gas world, so, we're going to be selling LNG and we'll have to be competing with the pipeline.
I think we'll compete successfully, I discussed this with Angela Merkel in pretty strong tones, but I also know they have a very close source, so we'll see how that all works out.”
“I think that we, as a major oil and gas power, as well as the US, could work together to regulate international markets because we aren't interested in prices plummeting below the lower limit as it will affect our producers, by the way, including the US when it comes to shale oil and gas.
The profit margin of production comes to naught below certain levels. We are not interested in excessively high prices either, because they can kill refining, engineering, and other branches of the economy.
We have things to discuss, and there is room for cooperation. This is my first point.
Second, as for Nord Stream 2, Mr. President voiced his concerns about the possible disappearance of the transit through Ukraine.
I reassured Mr. President that Russia stands ready to keep this transit in place. Moreover, we are ready to extend the transit contract, which expires next year, if the dispute between the economic entities is settled in the Stockholm Arbitration Court.”
Speaking about Syria, Putin made it clear that Moscow was ready to work with Washington. It's actually a response to a statement recently made in Washington, saying that the ball is in Russia's court; while Putin made it clear that it wasn't actually the case.
“Mr. President has just said that we successfully organized and hosted the World Cup. As for the ball, I'm giving it to Mr. President; now it's in his court. Moreover, the USA is to host the 2026 World Cup.”
"That's right. Thank you very much. We do host it, and we hope we do as good a job. That will go to my son Barron. In fact, Melania, here you go.”
See our story for more details of the atmosphere of the summit and of how Finland hosted it.
President Putin's cortege is tearing along Helsinki streets. That's an extraordinary event for a small city.
Hundreds of people took to the streets with cell phones and cameras. This vehicle is the new, domestically-produced presidential limo. It's being used abroad for the first time.
And here's Trump's cortege heading for the Presidential Palace. The time for the presidents' conversation isn't limited. The very fact of such a dialogue is a milestone event, given the state of relations between Moscow and Washington.
Vladimir Putin is entering the Presidential Palace. It's a historical building in the center of Helsinki.
The delegation includes both Foreign Minister Lavrov and the President's aide Ushakov. Putin writes something in the distinguished visitors' book. As per protocol, pictures are taken. The Russian President greets the Trumps. His Finnish counterpart and his wife join the ceremony. Then Putin and Trump go to the Gothic Hall for a private meeting.
This meeting is not on the sidelines of international meetings, like what had occurred at the G20 and APEC summits. Now it's the first full-scale meeting between Putin and Trump.
“Mr. President, I am delighted to meet with you here, in Helsinki, the capital of hospitable Finland.
We have maintained regular contact. Over the past few months, we have talked on the phone and also met several times at various international events.
Of course, the time has come to hold in-depth discussions on bilateral relations and global problems, the number of which shows that we must devote our attention to them.”
"First of all, Mr. President, I'd like to congratulate you on a really great World Cup, one of the best ever, from what everybody tells me, one of the best ever, and also for your team itself doing so well.
And I watched the entire final, and the semi-finals and they were really spectacular games, and it was beautifully done.
We have not been getting along very well for the last number of years. But I think that we will end up having an extraordinary relationship. Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.
We are the two great nuclear powers, and I think the world wants to see us get along. We all have a lot of questions, and hopefully, we will come up with answers. It is great to be with you.”
The handshake of the two presidents is symbolic against the background of the quick degradation of bilateral relations. It fuels the curiosity of the media. The time for taking pictures is over. The press is asked to leave the hall. About two hours later, the talks involving the delegations began.
Shortly before that, Sergey Lavrov and Mike Pompeo had held their first face-to-face meeting. It was a business lunch. The footage was for the sake of protocol, but it was heard that Trump said multiple times "very good meeting."
Journalists were trying to get answers, shouting questions about the outcome of the private meeting. Trump restricted himself to short remarks.
"I think it's a very good start, a very good start for everybody.”
People in the corridor are discussing every wrinkle, for example, mutual tweets of the US president and the Russian Foreign Ministry. Trump said,
"Our relationship with Russia has never been worse thanks to many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt." The Russian Foreign Ministry answered: "We agree."
While the heads of state have a discussion behind closed doors, the press finds itself in different parts of the Presidential Palace. Curiously enough, even the press centers for Russian and American journalists are separate. Americans go that way, and we go this way.
While the presidents are talking, the chefs have something to do too. It's the big political kitchen of the Presidential Palace.
The streets are closed in the center of Helsinki; the trams don't run. Even the maritime traffic is limited. For the time being, ferries are sailing away from another quay.
The citizens of Helsinki are waiting for their lives to get back on track, while the diplomats keep speculating on how today's meeting will affect the relations between Moscow and Washington.
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