The Russian president has made a series of statements on the issues regarding the Washington-Moscow ties after a brief meeting with his US counterpart during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that is currently underway in Vietnam.
US Actions Against Russian Media
Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow will respond in a reciprocal manner to the actions of the US regarding Russian media outlets, including Sputnik News Agency and the broadcaster RT. He added that US authorities chose the way of the “actual closure of Russian” media outlets in the US.
“It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad, as Russian people say,” Putin noted, saying that the US had long promoted itself as a champion of democratic values in the world. “There’s no democracy without freedom of speech. The attack on our media in the US is an attack on the freedom of speech, clearly.”
Putin has stressed that the US Congress and Senate investigations showed that the amount of advertisements spread in the social media abroad via Russian accounts was not comparable to the scale of that spread by the US accounts.
Absence of Separate Meeting Between Putin and Trump
Vladimir Putin has met briefly with his Donald Trump at the APEC summit. Commenting on the conversation, the Russian leader said that the absence of a separate meeting “showed that relations between Russia and the United States had not yet overcome their state of crisis.”
Putin went on to note that their teams weren’t able to coordinate a bilateral meeting due to scheduling conflicts and conference commitments. However, as the Russian president remarked, “nothing terrible has happened” and the leaders managed to “discuss everything they wanted.”
“We have a normal dialogue [with Trump]. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for us to talk in more detail about the whole complex of our ties, and there are issues we could talk on regarding the cooperation in the areas of security and the economy, of which there is practically zero today,” Putin said.
Putin went on to say that Moscow is ready to “turn this page” and engage in relations which will see cooperation on issues that are of interest to both the people of Russia and the US, adding that Moscow would like to boost economic ties with Washington.
Future of Syria
The military actions in the fight against terrorists in Syria are coming to an end, and thus conditions for a political process are needed, Vladimir Putin said.
“Today, the most important thing is to finish this job and sustain the agreements on de-escalation zones, sustain the ceasefire regime, create conditions for beginning the political process,” Putin told reporters, adding that this was what his joint statement with US President Donald Trump was about.
“I think it will be an important point in the work to settle the Syrian issue,” Putin added.
North Korean Crisis
The Russian president has also said that the positions of Russia and China on North Korea fully coincide as they both call for a dialogue to settle the Pyongyang crisis.
“We consider [North Korea issue] a problem, we do not recognize the nuclear status of North Korea,” Putin told journalists at a press conference on the results of the APEC summit.
Putin added that both Russia and China had proposed a roadmap with steps to settle the North Korean crisis, including “first of all, halting the rhetoric, then halting all manifestations of aggression from all the sides, and sitting down at the negotiating table eventually.”
Japan, South Korea, and the United States have recently showed signs that they also see no alternative to talks in dealing with North Korea crisis, Putin added, expressing hope that this will help resolve the conflict.