MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that his meeting with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki was tough, but useful, which is why Moscow is surprised at Washington’s recent unfriendly steps toward Russia.
“At the beginning of our conversation, I would like to recall our meeting with the President of the United States in Helsinki. This was, in my opinion, a useful, in parts even tough meeting and conversation, but, ultimately, constructive,” Putin said at the opening of talks with US National Security Adviser John Bolton in Moscow.
The Russian president noted, though, that Moscow was surprised by Washington’s unfriendly steps stressing that “it is sometimes surprising to see how the United States is taking absolutely unprovoked steps towards Russia, which we cannot describe as friendly.”Putin also said that it would be useful to continue the dialogue with his US counterpart Donald Trump.
“Certainly it would be useful to continue the direct dialogue with the US president, primarily on the sidelines of international events that will take place soon, for example, in Paris. Of course, if the American side is interested in these contacts,” Putin said at a meeting with US National Security Adviser John Bolton.
In addition, Putin noted at a meeting with Bolton that he intended to exchange views on strategic stability, regional conflicts and disarmament, and it “would certainly be very useful,” further stressing that both officials “know and talk a lot about the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.”
“We recently heard about the intention of the United States to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, we know about the doubts in the [US] administration about the need to extend New START, we hear about the intention to deploy individual elements of the missile defense system in space,” he said.
In his turn, the US national security adviser told the Russian president that he considered it useful for Russia and the US to find some common points despite the existing differences related to the Russian and the US national interests.
Bolton voiced his hope that all the pressing issues of the Russian-US agenda would be discussed during the talks. The senior official also told the Russian president that Donald Trump would like to meet with him on the sidelines of the upcoming international meeting in Paris.Prior to meeting the Russian president, Bolton had a meeting with Russian Security Council Head Nikolai Patrushev on Monday, during which the officials discussed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Open Skies Treaty, the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons.
In addition, both sides voiced a number of initiatives, the implementation of which could contribute to creating an atmosphere of trust and strengthening cooperation between Moscow and Washington.
Following the talks, the Russian Security Council said the Patrushev-Bolton meeting was an important step to implement agreements reached during the talks between Russian and US presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Helsinki.