It was 2 hours and 15 minutes of a meeting, much more than what was established.
US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin were seen for the first time face-to-face in public at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
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In the words of Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State of the United States, the two leaders quickly connected and “clearly had a very positive chemistry” between them.
In fact, prior to the meeting, Trump and Putin had crossed and the cameras captured them having a very pleasant dialogue. “It is an honor to be with you,” Trump told Putin, who replied, “I am delighted to meet you personally.”
Despite the cordiality, the meeting between the two leaders took place under the shadow of US investigations. On whether Russia interfered in the presidential elections of 2016 and if the campaign of the own Trump confabulated with Moscow.
And the subject was on the table from the beginning.
The American version
According to Tillerson, Trump “began by raising the concern of Americans that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections.”
“He pressured him more than once,” he added, but Putin denied any involvement of his government with the issue.
The secretary of state then said that both leaders focused on “how to move forward after something that is simply an incurable disagreement at this point.”
But the Russian version has a different ending.
The Russian version
Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, said Trump stressed that the accusations “had acquired a strange character” since in all these months, “not a single fact” had been presented that proved the interference from Moscow.
According to the Russian Foreign Minister, Trump acknowledged that “despite not being able to prove it, certain circles in the US were still exaggerating this issue of Russia’s interference in US elections.”
“President Trump said he had heard President Putin’s clear statements about how this is a lie and that the Russian leadership had not interfered in the election,” Lavrov said at an exclusive press conference for Russian media.
Then he said, “He (Trump) said he accepted these statements, that’s all.”
During the meeting, the leaders also agreed to a truce for southwestern Syria and decided to open a bilateral communication channel to discuss the conflict in Ukraine.