Russia’s ambassador to the United States on Wednesday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn’t want to use ‘adversary’ to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE made “important verbal agreements” with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their private conversation in Helsinki on Monday.
Russian envoy Anatoly Antonov listed cooperation in Syria and arms control as two issues the world leaders had agreed on, according to The Washington Post.
But the Post reported that the highest-level Trump administration officials still do not know what Trump promised Putin during their one-on-one meeting, which lasted more than two hours.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Wednesday both listed general topics that the two discussed, but neither provided much detail.
Nauert said the State Department is assessing “three takeaways,” which include a working group of American and Russian business leaders, an expert council with thought leaders from both countries, and follow-up meetings with Russian national security council staff.
“These are certainly all modest proposals,” Nauert said. “The president had said going into this that we wouldn’t solve all the world’s problems in one meeting.”
Sanders was vague as well, telling reporters during Wednesday’s press briefing that Trump and Putin discussed “Syrian humanitarian aid, Iran’s nuclear ambition, Israeli security, North Korean denuclearization, Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea, reducing Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals, and of course your favorite topic, Russia’s interference in our elections.”
The Post reported that officials are scrambling to figure out what Trump agreed to.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marina Zakharova said on Wednesday that the Kremlin is already working to implement agreements from the summit, according to the Post.
“A lot of what the president of the Russian Federation talked about is now being worked through,” she said, according to the Post. “Relevant instructions are being carried out, and diplomats are beginning to work on the outcomes.”
Putin during Monday’s controversial press conference said the conflict in Syria could present a starting point for bilateral agreements. He also claimed he and Trump agreed on securing Israel’s border with Syria, eliciting praise from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Antonov on Wednesday said Moscow is “a hostage to the domestic political battle” in the U.S.
“When I return from Moscow, I will have the very clear-cut and lucid determination to go knock on every door at the State Department and the National Security Council to understand what we can do together in order to realize the agreements, the ideas, that the two presidents supported,” Antonov said.
“Even in talking with you now, I am afraid to say something positive about the American president,” he said, “because when American journalists or policymakers read my interview, they’ll say Russia is again meddling and helping Donald Trump.”
Lawmakers have raised concerns about what Trump told Putin during their private conversation. Multiple Democrats have called for testimony from the interpreter who was present during the private meeting between the two leaders in order to get details of the conversation.
Nauert said Wednesday that such a proposal is unprecedented, but added, “we always seek to work with Congress.”
Published at Thu, 19 Jul 2018 02:56:35 +0000