Putin Confirms the 'Acute Political Struggle' in the United States Is Delaying Meeting with Trump
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a lengthy interview to Austria's ORF news service yesterday, on the eve of his visit to Vienna today. Armin Wolf asked the questions, one of which was, "Why is it taking so long" for there to be a meeting between President Donald Trump and Putin? According to the Kremlin translation, the President replied:
"You should ask our colleagues in the United States. In my opinion, this is the result of the ongoing acute political struggle in the United States. Indeed, Donald Trump and I have, firstly, met more than once at various international venues and secondly, we regularly talk over the phone. Our foreign affairs departments and special services are working fairly well together in areas of mutual interest, above all in the fight against international terrorism. This work is ongoing.
"As for personal meetings, I think that the possibility of these meetings depends to a large extent on the internal political situation in the United States. The congressional election campaign is getting under way and then there will be the next presidential election, and the President of the United States is coming under attack over various matters. I think this is the main reason.
"In a recent telephone conversation, Donald said he was worried about the possibility of a new arms race. I fully agree with him. However, to prevent a possible arms race (we did not initiate such a course of events, we did not withdraw from the Anti-Missile Defense Treaty, we merely responded to the threats that arise for us from this, but I agree with the U.S. President) we should think about it, we should do something about it, give corresponding instructions to our Foreign Ministry and the U.S. State Department. The experts should start working in a concrete way. I hope that some day this work in the interests of the United States and Russia, indeed in the interests of the whole world will begin, including between us personally."