Putin warms up to Trump as bilateral relations remain tense

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on 30 March that the sanctions against Russia over Ukraine crisis were harmful to the economies of the EU and the US at the 4th International Arctic Forum (IAF) in Arkhangelsk. He rejected claims of Russian interference in last year's US presidential election and said that Russia would support the US in the fight against terrorism and cooperate with the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, adding he would like to meet Trump at the G20 summit or earlier.

Although Donald Trump, who seeks warmer ties with Russia, mentioned before about the possibility of lifting of sanctions as well broader engagement with Russia in the nuclear weapons arena against the current "threat environment", US Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that reconsidering sanctions and cooperating in other areas could only be possible if Russia changes its course of action, especially in Ukraine. US-Russia relations have been tense recently especially due to claims of Russian election meddling and the former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's negotiations with the Russian Ambassador on lifting sanctions, giving rise to fears of further security breaches. 

About author: Umay Atik


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