He spoke as the highly-anticipated first meeting between the two leaders began.
“President Putin and I have been discussing various things and I think it’s going very well. We’ve had some very, very good talks,” Trump said. “We’re going to have a talk now, and obviously that will continue. But we look forward to a lot of very positive things happening for Russia, for the United States, and for everybody concerned.”
Trump added that it was an “honor” to be with Putin. The U.S. president came into the meeting without a specific agenda set, so it was not entirely clear what specific issues they would discuss.
Trump came into office seeking a reset of relations with Russia and hoping to cooperate in some policy areas, like fighting the terror group ISIS. However, Putin’s support for ruthless Syrian President Bashar Assad, among other issues, has emerged as a hurdle to their working together.
On Thursday, Trump criticized Moscow’s actions in the strongest terms he has used as president.
“We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere, and its support for hostile regimes including Syria and Iran, and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself,” Trump said in Warsaw.
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