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Kremlin comments on US translator missing from G20 Putin-Trump encounter

The Kremlin believes it is none of its business to comment on whether an American translator was present during Putin-Trump conversation on the sidelines of the G20 summit

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. The Kremlin believes it is none of its business to comment on whether an American translator was present during a conversation between the Russian and US heads of state, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. He commented on a report by The Financial Times saying that the two presidents had spoken without a US translator.

"Putin had a host of sporadic contacts on the sidelines of the summit, or what is called ‘on the go’. It is absolutely none of our concern who had and didn’t have a translator there. President Putin’s translator is with him all the time - this is our business, and everything is completely consistent and in order on that score. That is all I can say about that," he told reporters.

Generally, when focusing on these sorts of publications in the Western media, Peskov said, "the media’s hysteria by and large is groundless." "In each and every case that concerns Trump, a completely and truly frenzied slant is apparent, which is not based on any real facts as a rule," Peskov pointed out.

On Tuesday, The Financial Times reported on its website referring to a source, that at the summit in Buenos Aires (November 30-December 1, 2018), Putin and Trump spoke for about 15 minutes without a US interpreter who could have taken notes on the subject of their conversation.

According to the newspaper, the two leaders spoke informally at the Colon Theater, when guests who had attended the event began leaving. Trump was accompanied only by his wife Melania, while Putin had his translator by his side. Thus, there was neither an American translator nor a presidential aide with Trump to document the chat.

Later, the Democrats demanded interrogating the interpreters who had been present at other one-on-one meetings between the two leaders. Trump’s critics maintain that he is sweeping the details of his conversations with Putin under the carpet.

The two heads of state planned to hold a full-fledged meeting in Buenos Aires at the G20 summit, but on the eve of the event, Trump announced its cancellation via Twitter over the Kerch Strait incident. However, during the summit the two presidents held a brief chat, Putin told reporters. The Russian president conveyed his view of the Black Sea incident to Trump even though the White House occupant took a different position on the matter.