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US President Donald Trump said that he got along “very well” with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the G20 summit last week. “I think we get along very well and I think that’s a good thing, that’s not a bad thing,” Trump said on Wednesday. “We are a tremendously powerful nuclear power, and so are they. It doesn’t make sense not to have some kind of a relationship,” he added. Trump also emphasised the importance of having a dialogue with Russia despite the differences between Washington and Moscow.

“I do believe it’s important to have a dialogue and if you don’t have a dialogue, it’s a lot of problems for our country and for their country. I think we need dialogue. We need dialogue with everybody,” Trump said. During the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the US and Russia, a cease-fire agreement in parts of Syria was struck in a bid to curb the bloodshed that has impacted both sides in the war-torn Middle East nation.

“One thing we did is we had a cease-fire in a major part of Syria where there was tremendous bedlam and tremendous killing. And, by the way, this is now four days. The cease-fire has held for four days. Those (previous) cease-fires haven’t held at all. That’s because President Putin and President Trump made the deal, and it’s held,” Trump said in the interview.

The interview came amid ongoing investigations into allegations that Trump’s team colluded with the Russians to help him win last year’s presidential election. Trump said he thinks Putin would actually have been happier with Hillary Clinton in the White House.

“As an example, if Hillary had won, our military would be decimated. Our energy would be much more expensive. That’s what Putin doesn’t like about me. And that’s why I say, why would he want me? Because from day one I wanted a strong military, he doesn’t want to see that,” Trump added.

First Published | 13 July 2017 11:22 AM
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