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Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Meet at G20 Summit

08 Juillet 2017

The stakes in one of the most eagerly awaited diplomatic showdowns in years were obvious as soon as they appeared before the cameras.

Gallego is putting forward an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual measure that must pass, asking Congress to accept agency findings that concluded Russian Federation used hacking and propaganda to damage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton so the election would favor then-GOP candidate Donald Trump. "We look forward to a lot of very positive things happening for Russian Federation, for the United States and for everybody concerned", Trump said. "Phone conversations are never enough definitely", Putin said.

"We're going to have a talk now, and obviously that will continue".

He said Trump pushed him on the issue and Putin stood firm in his denial.

Usually for a bilateral encounter of this kind on a presidential trip, officials like the national security adviser, United States and Russian ambassadors, top National Security Council staff and note-takers would be present. Trump escaped the meeting without giving Putin anything significant: the Russian diplomatic compounds in Maryland and Long Island that were seized by the Obama administration a year ago remain in USA custody, and not a single sanction on Russia's economy has been lifted. Tillerson said the two leaders didn't spend time in a "relitigation of the past". The Russian president said he was "delighted" to meet Trump "personally" before the pair shook hands and the throng of reporters and photographers left. "How many pictures do you need of the same scene?" he said. Trump said it could have been Russian Federation, but that other countries could have meddled, too.

In Australia on Sunday Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said military options for dealing with the North Korean
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Meet at G20 Summit

Still, both sides left the talks hoping that they had laid the ground work for a more normal relationship between the USA and Russian Federation - an important consideration because the two nations have been slipping alarmingly close to real misunderstandings that carry the threat of a risky escalation.

The lack of proper communications between the two presidents - notwithstanding the election interference furor - is something neither side wants.

"In the course of the months that these allegations have been around, not a single fact has been presented, which is admitted by those in the (US) Congress who have led this movement at some point", Lavrov said.

"Just about everything got touched on to one degree or another", Tillerson said, adding that, "Neither one of them wanted to stop".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the meeting - which lasted 2 hours and 16 minutes, four times longer than planned - was an hour in when Melania poked her head in the door.

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Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Meet at G20 Summit