Putin told Russian diplomats that in Helsinki, he proposed a referendum to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine but agreed not to disclose the plan so that Trump could consider it, according to two people who attended Putin’s closed-door speech on Thursday.
Pushing back against criticism of his Putin meeting, Trump accused the news media of trying to provoke a confrontation with Moscow that could lead to war, although concerns about the meeting have been raised by a broad cross-section of Republicans and Democrats.
Coats issued a defiant statement, and in a Thursday interview on several occasions made light of the chaos that has become ordinary in the Trump administration.
European powers are also expected to oppose a referendum in the Donbass, where pro-Russian separatists hold sway. He cited US sanctions and the expulsion of alleged Russian spies from the USA, telling reporters that Putin “understands it, and he’s not happy about it”.
“We will respond appropriately to such aggressive steps, which pose a direct threat to Russian Federation”, said Putin.
“He clearly wasn’t consulted before this decision was made and it shows the distance that still exists between the White House, the President and his intelligence services”, United States correspondent Charles Croucher told TODAY this morning.
On Thursday, Trump invited Putin to the White House this fall for a second sit-down while cleanup efforts from their first summit were still in full swing. “We held a referendum in strict compliance with the United Nations charter and global legislation”.
“I regret that we have to request this in today’s meeting”.
Coats explained of his reasoning and his relations with Trump: ‘We started a good relationship. “That’s going to be special”, he said, after expressing shock at the news.
The latest development in the relationship between the two world leaders comes just three days after they held a summit in Helsinki on Monday.
Merkel told a news conference Friday that the alliance’s so-called Article 5 promising mutual defense is “a central element of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and I believe this Article 5 valid for all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states, not just for big ones or small ones or for some”.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump’s goal was to “redirect” two countries “that’d been on a bad path”.
On Thursday, the Trump administration poured cold water on at least one proposal from Putin: that Russia be allowed to interview Americans the Kremlin accused of crimes – the quid pro quo for allowing USA investigators to interrogate Russian intelligence officials recently indicted in the US for alleged election interference. Trump also told his followers that the Helsinki meeting was a success, except for “the real enemy of the people, the Fake News media”. The Kremlin had said in April that the president had invited the Russian leader to the White House when they spoke by telephone in March. “It is very important to continue the dialogue”, Dmitry Novikov, a state Duma deputy told RIA Novosti on Friday.
“The ball’s in your court”, said Putin with an air of forced joviality as he presented Trump with a gift to mark their meeting.
Time’s statement said its composite image “is meant to represent this particular moment in USA foreign policy, following the pair’s recent meeting in Helsinki, Finland”.
Critics complained that Trump was given ample opportunity at a joint news conference on Monday to scold Putin over Russian interference in the US election but instead accepted Putin’s denials over the word of American intelligence agencies.