Russian President Vladimir Putin said after meeting his US counterpart Donald Trump, he believes an improvement in relations with Washington is in the works. Putin also said again that Moscow never interfered in US presidential election in November 2016. “It seems to me that if we build our relations the same way our conversation went, there’s every reason to believe we can re-establish, however partially, the kind of interaction we need,” Putin said on Saturday, Efe news reported. With regard to the US President, he said: “Trump on television is very different from the real person,” and explained that “he well understands his the person he’s talking to, analyzes quickly, answers questions and responds to whatever comes up in the discussion”.
As for his personal relations with Trump, the Russian President considers them “established”. Putin also said Trump brought up, not with one question but with several, the issue of Russia’s interference in US elections.
“Our position is well known. I repeat, there is no reason to think that Russia interfered in the electoral process,” Putin said, adding that Trump was apparently “satisfied with the answers”. To a reporter’s question about whether Moscow plans to meddle in Germany’s general elections on September 24, Putin answered that, if Russia didn’t do that in the US, why would they do it in Germany.
Instead he spoke of the “good relations” with Germany, Russia’s main trade partner in Europe, with which it shares big projects like the new natural gas pipeline Nord Stream II. Moscow has no need to interfere in the elections of other countries, unlike some of the European media, which constantly talk about Russia’s internal matters, he said.
Putin also referred to Trump’s offer to Poland and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to supply them with liquefied gas to reduce their energy dependence on Russia, and emphasized Moscow’s defence of free markets and free competition, as long as they are not politicised. In that context, he noted that Russia has a “clear comparative advantage” because its gas is cheaper.