MOSCOW, July 16. /TASS/. Russian and US businessmen are interested in the normalization of relations between the two countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday, adding that topic was raised at his talks with US President Donald Trump in the Finnish capital city Helsinki.
In an interview with Russia’s Channel One TV, Putin said the subject of the sanctions "was discussed at the talks in the sense that businessmen are interested in normalizing our economic relations."
Putin said they had agreed with Trump to set up a committee of the two countries’ businessmen "who would work on how channel the current situation towards improvement of our relations in the economic sphere and who would come up with relevant initiatives." "And it would be up to the US and Russian political leadership to either accept them of not. In any case, we could involve people who are interested in the development of economic ties," he noted.
He also said the current state of economic relations between Russia and the United States had been in focus of his talks with the US leader. "I cited a number of examples to him, such as: sales of EU-made goods on the Russian market stand at about 100 billion US dollars, plus 50 billion US dollars of sales of services on the Russian market; sales of Chinese goods and services amount to 50 billion and seven billion US dollars, whereas the United States sells 12 billion US dollar worth of goods and five billion US dollar worth of services on our market," Putin recalled.
This is "the result of the sanctions, including those imposed by the American side," the Russian president stressed. "There is real food for thought."
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.