Putin and Trump disagree on the results of the meeting
Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump met for the first time at the G20 summit in Hamburg. The meeting lasted longer than scheduled – two and a quarter hours.
A ceasefire in south-west Syria was as the only substantial outcome of the meeting. Moscow immediately called it a ‘ breakthrough’. However, Washington officials pointed out the fact that all previous ceasefires have been broken.
According to the Secretary of State, Tillerson, and Foreign minister Lavrov, Russia’s possible meddling in the American elections turned out to be a major issue at the meeting. Lavrov claimed that Trump had “heard and accepted” Putin`s assertions, that the meddling never happened. Tillerson said that the sides disagree on the issue, and it is not clear whether they will ever agree.
Washington and Moscow also assess the talks on Syria differently. Russia, which supports Bashar Asad, is talking about cooperation. The American side claims it sees no political perspective for Asad.
The US and Russian presidents also failed to reach any agreement on North Korea, another hot topic.
Most observers see the meeting as a tactical gain for Vladimir Putin, who has been eager to hold direct talks with Trump for a long time. Putin’s ultimate goal was the lifting of sanctions imposed after the Crimea annexation. The goal seems unlikely to be realised, with Donald Trump being under strong domestic pressure due to the alleged claims of Russian meddling into the elections in his support.