Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Trump and Putin at the sidelines of G20 summit, despite tense relationship


Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at

Despite their tense relationship, Trump and Putin want to continue discussions on joint arms control. “Both leaders agreed that improved relations between the United States and Russia are in the common interest of both countries and in the interests of the world,” the White House said Friday after a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit of major economies in Osaka, Japan.

“The presidents agreed that the two countries want to continue their discussions on a weapons control model for the 21st century,” it said. Trump has emphasized his demand that China must be involved as well. The United States had terminated the INF treaty banning land-based medium-range nuclear weapons at the beginning of February, arguing that Russia had violated the agreement for years with the SSC-8 medium-range system. The six-month notice expires on 2 August.

In the talks between Trump and Putin in Osaka, the situation in Iran, in Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine was discussed. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was present at the talks, spoke afterwards of a very constructive atmosphere.

Russia invited Trump to Moscow next year for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the victory over Hitler’s Germany. “The President of the United States reacted very positively to the invitation,” said Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov to Russia’s TV channel. Russia celebrates Victory Day on May 9, 2020 with a major military parade on Red Square in Moscow.

At the beginning of the approximately one-and-a-half-hour meeting, Trump said that Putin should ask Russia not to interfere in American elections – but with a smile on his face. The interference of Russia in the US presidential election in favor of Trump has been a major topic in America for more than two years. The investigations of special investigators Robert Mueller had revealed that it had come to interference. However, Mueller found no evidence that Trump or his confidant was involved or had known about it.

Trump and Putin had last met in Helsinki in 2018 for a longer interview. Trump called the relationship with Putin on Friday “very, very good”. Both have much to discuss, including disarmament and trade. Among other things, both argue over the nuclear disarmament contract INF – the United States and the Nato have been accusing Russia of violating the agreement for a long time. “Many very positive things will come out of this relationship,” said Trump.

In Europe, however, military experts are skeptical that the United States in turn has any interest in preserving the INF Treaty in its current form. The reason is that the Cold War-era deal only binds Americans and Russians, but not emerging military powers like China. China now has nearly 2,000 ballistic missiles and cruise missiles that would fall under this agreement. There is also considerable difference between Russia and America in relation to another disarmament agreement, the new agreement for the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons.

Just before the summit began, Putin recalled in an interview with the Financial Times that he long ago proposed a United States, EU and Russian joint missile defense system. “I am convinced that the world today would be different if our American partners had then agreed to it,” Putin said. The relationship between the two countries is also considered to be bad, apart from the armaments issues. Because of various violations, the United States has imposed sanctions on Russia, partly because of the Kremlin policy in Ukraine. Both in energy policy and in the Syria policy are both cross.

Read also: US-Russia fails to progress on nuclear power treaty dispute

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