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Putin says his meeting with Trump was more substantive than expected

July 17, 0:07 UTC+3

Touching on the topics raised at the summit, Putin said they had discussed all problems of mutual interest, such as the situation in Syria and in the entire region, and Ukrainian crisis

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US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki

© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MOSCOW, July 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday his today’s talks with US President Donald Trump turned out to be even more substantive than expected.

"I had no specific expectations as it was our first substantive meeting," Putin said in an interview with the Vremya (Time) evening news program on Russia’s Channel One TV. "Initially its was seen as a kind of warming-up to speak in more specific terms during our future contacts."

"But things went another way - the conversation was really very substantive," he noted, adding that the talks were held "in a partner atmosphere."

Touching on the topics raised at the summit, Putin said they had discussed all problems of mutual interest, such as the situation in Syria and in the entire region, and Ukrainian crisis. "They have certain ideas of how to settle the crisis in southeastern Ukraine. We agreed to look at them at the expert level," he said. "I think it can also be seen as a positive element of further progress, to put it carefully."

Another topic for discussion, in his words, was "Russia’s mythical interference into US elections." He once again denied both Moscow’s involvement in such actions and its plans to do it in future.

Apart from that, he said they had discussed Iran’s nuclear program. Russia’s position on that matter remains unchanged, he stressed. "We think that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an instrument facilitating nuclear non-proliferation in general and in that region in particular," Putin explained. "It would be a pity should this instrument cease to exist."

The Russian leader said a date for his next meeting with Trump has not been set yet.

"I don’t know, we did not appoint a date for the next meeting," he said in an interview with the Vremya (Time) evening news program on the Russian Channel One TV.

He did not rule out a meeting with the US leaders "on the sidelines of an Asian forum and later in Argentina, at a Group of Twenty summit." "We can meet there," he noted.

Commenting on his Monday’s talks with Trump in the Finnish capital city Helsinki, the Russian president they had discussed matters that had been agreed by their aides beforehand. "We agreed on some matters and disagreed on others, but these issues that were agreed beforehand by our aides for today’s discussion," he said.

Monday’s meeting in Helsinki was the first full-format Putin-Trump talks. Before that, they met twice - in July and November 2017 - on the sidelines of major international forums.

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