Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump held a conversation on the sidelines of the APEC summit, taking advantage of the moment before the photography ceremony. Presidents "on their feet" approved a joint statement on Syria and agreed to oppose the "Islamic state *" until the group was completely defeated. The agreement was another evidence that without Russia major problems of the world are not being solved.
On Saturday, the presidents of Russia and the United States Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump managed to hold a small talk on the way to the ceremony of photographing the leaders on the second day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam's Danang. The interlocutors gesticulated animatedly. This moment got into the lenses of numerous television cameras. They were accompanied by Vietnamese President Chiang Dai Kuang and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who did not participate in the conversation.
The two leaders failed to hold formal negotiations, but their conversation before the photography ceremony concerned one of the most important topics - the Syrian problem. On the eve, both presidents also got into camera lenses before the summit session began, while world leaders sat at the table. Putin and Trump shook hands, bent over each other, exchanged a few cues, after which the US president palmfully patted his Russian colleague on the shoulder.
The intrigue about the Saturday meeting remained to the last. The day before, Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders rejected such an opportunity because of the "tight schedule" of the owner of the White House. And Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that the Russian side continues to "patiently work" over its organization and the meeting will one way or another take place on the sidelines of the summit.
According to Peskov, Putin and Trump in a brief communication approved a joint statement on the situation in Syria. This document was prepared by the experts of Russia and the United States, after which it was agreed on Saturday at the talks of the heads of the foreign affairs agencies of the two countries, Sergei Lavrov and Rex Tillerson. As part of the statement, Putin and Trump confirmed their determination to defeat the "Islamic State" * group and intend to confront the militants right up to total defeat.
Putin and Trump are united in the opinion that the Syrian conflict can not be solved only by military means and a political settlement is needed within the framework of the Geneva process. At the same time, both leaders are committed to the sovereignty and integrity of Syria. In this context, they pointed to the importance of creating de-escalation zones in Syria. It was also agreed that the monitoring of the ceasefire in Syria will continue the Amman monitoring center with the participation of experts from Jordan, Russia and the United States.
The statement calls on the presidents to the UN countries to increase their contribution to helping Syria in the coming months. Both expressed satisfaction with the successful joint efforts to prevent dangerous incidents between the military of their countries.
In the afternoon Putin, commenting on the failed separate meeting with Trump, said that this indicates an ongoing crisis in bilateral relations. According to him, the meeting did not take place because of the schedule of the leaders and formalities of the protocol, "with which our teams, unfortunately, failed to cope." "Well ... They will be punished for this. However, nothing terrible has happened. We talked during today's meeting, talked. In general, we discussed everything we wanted, "Putin said.
At the same time, the president called the conversation with Trump successful, stressing that they "discussed everything", but this is not enough and we need to find an opportunity to talk in detail. "They talked about how to use those new opportunities that the digital economy provides for the development of economic ties," the president explained.
In addition, the Russian leader said it was important that together with Trump, they were able to confirm the sovereignty of Syria and agree on a political settlement.
About the upcoming meeting between Putin and Trump it was said all the last days. Observers noted that Trump was primarily interested in these negotiations, which did not hide this. A week ago, in an interview with Fox News, the US president said that such a meeting was very important for him. "They can help us with North Korea, Syria. We need to talk about Ukraine, "Trump said.
However, the pressure on Trump from the partners of the Republican Party and opponents from the Democrat camp was also not discounted. Ultimately, such pressure could prevent him from holding full-fledged negotiations face to face, as it happened in the summer in Hamburg at the G20 summit. Then this event became the most significant and overshadowed the rest of the summit agenda.
The usefulness of the meeting in Danang was also pointed out by the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov. "The cause of peace would only benefit if the two leaders sat down and talked about topical issues of international security," the ambassador said.
As the newspaper VZGLYAD member of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, former head of the internal policy department of the presidential administration Oleg Morozov, "now the ball on the American side." "We do not scrub this meeting. But we are ready for it, and repeatedly said that there are topics that need to be discussed and the interest of the American side is needed, "Morozov said.
According to him, "Americans are objectively interested in such a meeting." "At least three splinters, which must be discussed together with Russia, they sit. This is North Korea, Syria and Ukraine. Decisions on these issues would be not unnecessary for the Americans. This would give Trump's glasses as a president, if he found beautiful and everyone arranging solutions for these three problems, "Morozov suggested.
The fact that Putin's talks with Trump on the margins of the APEC summit are more significant for the internal life of the United States than for the relations between Moscow and Washington, said Andrei Suzdaltsev, deputy dean of the department of world economy and world politics at the Higher School of Economics. According to him, the meeting is also important for Russia, as it will allow to show the world that without it the major problems are not being solved. "This is a recognition that we are needed and in demand," the expert said.
In turn, the head of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev believes that a full-scale meeting between the leaders of Russia and the United States did not take place because of the lack of a strategy for action in relation to Russia and political independence in relations with the Congress. He explained that it would be pointless to talk about the Russian intervention in the US elections "to two people who understand that this is not so." "And the constructive content of the conversation would create problems for Trump already in his country, he would be accused of acting on the orders of Putin," Kosachev told RIA Novosti.
A joint statement, the senator stressed, fully confirms the commitment of both states to the sovereignty of Syria and its political integrity. The statement returns the situation to the previously agreed decisions of Moscow and Washington on Syria and a common understanding of how to achieve a political settlement in this country in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution. "After this resolution, there were a lot of steps from Washington that allowed us to doubt that the US follows the spirit of this resolution," the senator said.
In communication with journalists following the summit, Vladimir Putin said, in particular, that while he would leave the question of his possible participation in the elections of the head of state in 2018 without an answer. "The time will come, let's talk about this," Putin said in response to the journalist's emotional response: "When is it finally over?" We are already tired of waiting. "
As for the restrictive measures against the Russian media in the US, Putin called them an attack on freedom of speech, and promised Moscow's mirror response, reminding that there is "no, and can not be, no confirmation of Russian media interference in the course of the election campaign."
Earlier, the US faced tough conditions for registration as a foreign agent before the Russian media (primarily RT and Sputnik): this must be done before Monday. RT agreed to go through such a registration and continue working in the US.
"It would be funny, as people say among us, if it were not so sad. Because those who do this in the United States, all the time, beat themselves in the chest and said that they are "Note Democrats", number one in the world. And in this regard, freedom of speech has always risen to the shield as a luminary of democracy. Without freedom of speech, democracy does not exist, "the president said.
The head of state said that the media express a point of view that can be argued, but not by closing or creating conditions for the impossibility of carrying out direct professional activities. In addition, Putin said that reports on the relationship between the US Secretary of Commerce and Russia have nothing to do with politics, and there are no sensations there.
* Organization, in respect of which the court accepted an inured decision on liquidation or prohibition of the activity on the grounds provided the Federal Law "On Countering Extremist Activity"