Russia says Putin and Trump made military agreements in Helsinki

While the Trump administration refuses to say if President Trump made any private agreements with Russian President Vladimir Putin in their Monday meeting, the Russian government says that they did and that it is prepared to implement them.
By Rick Docksai | Jul 19, 2018
Russia announced Tuesday that it is prepared to implement military agreements that Russian President Vladimir Putin privately made with President Trump in their meeting two days ago. This is a first-time acknowledgement that any such agreements took place, as neither Trump nor the State Department have said that the two world leaders agreed to anything during their one-one-one conversation.

"The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is ready for practical implementation of the agreements reached between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in the sphere of international security achieved at the Helsinki summit," said Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a Russian military spokesman, said in a statement.

These agreements include increasing cooperation in Syria and extending the START treaty for reducing and limiting intercontinental missiles and nuclear arms, according to Konashenkov, who added that "other issues of ensuring military security" also underwent discussion.

Putin and Trump met for two hours in Helsinki Monday with only translators present. Several Democratic lawmakers demanded Tuesday that the translator reveal to Congress what Putin and Trump discussed.

Trump has been under added criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike over comments he made immediately after the meeting: He indicated that he trusted Putin over the U.S. intelligence community's assertions that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, and called the U.S. government "stupid" for not getting along better with Russia. He also told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that he is not inclined to send U.S. troops to defend Montenegro or other NATO member nations. All of these statements mirror Kremlin talking points, according to critics.

Trump fired back at criticisms of his remarks Tuesday. Meanwhile, the National Security Council declined to confirm what transpired during the Helsinki meeting. A council spokesman told CNN only that the council is still "reviewing the discussion."

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