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Putin, Trump discussed Russian adoptions, but no mention of ban revision — Kremlin

The leaders did not discuss the issue of Washington’s support for rebels in Syria, the Kremlin spokesman noted

MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump have discussed the adoption of Russian children during supper at the G20 summit in Hamburg, but possible withdrawal of the existing ban was not mentioned, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"I confirm that this issue has been discussed. Nothing to add," the Kremlin’s spokesman noted. "No, it wasn’t mentioned," Peskov said, answering a question on whether Dima Yakovlev’s Law, that prohibits the adoption of Russian children by US citizens, could be cancelled.

Peskov reconfirmed that it was not an alleged second, undisclosed meeting between the Russian and US presidents, but just a talk between the leaders at a dinner for the delegations’ heads.

Earlier Trump said in an interview with the New York Times that he had discussed the adoption of Russian children by US citizens with his Russian counterpart at a dinner organized at the G20 summit in Hamburg. He noted that the talk lasted about 15 minutes and that First Lady Melania Trump had been seated next to Putin.

"The meal was going toward dessert,’’ Trump said. "I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was there I said hello to Putin."

"Really, pleasantries more than anything else," the US president added.

Support for Syrian rebels not discussed by Putin, Trump

Putin and Trump did not discuss the issue of Washington’s support for rebels in Syria, according to Peskov.

"No," he said answering a question on the issue.

Peskov declined to comment on Washington’s plans to suspend the program to train Syrian rebels. "The Kremlin will not comment on the issue in any way, we will refrain from commenting on the matter," he said.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported citing some sources in the US administration that Trump decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train the so-called moderate opposition fighting against government forces. The paper noted that "the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests."

According to the sources interviewed by the paper, Trump made the decision to scrap the CIA program nearly a month ago, "after an Oval Office meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster ahead of a July 7 meeting in Germany with Russian President Vladimir Putin."

The CIA’s program to support opposition units launched in 2013 was the central plank of the policy pursued by the Obama administration to exert pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. However, according to the paper, "even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later."