Putin: US establishment behind ‘senseless’ Russian sanctions, meeting with Trump ‘useful’

Putin: US establishment behind ‘senseless’ Russian sanctions, meeting with Trump ‘useful’
The position of US establishment is to blame for the counter-productive policy of sanctions against Russia, President Vladimir Putin said while describing his Helsinki meeting with President Donald Trump as “useful.”

“It’s not only about the position of the US President. It’s about the position of the so-called establishment, which is ruling [the US] in a broadest sense of the word,” Putin said.

Putin was responding to a question about his July meeting with Trump at a joint briefing with the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö near Sochi on Wednesday.

“As for our meeting with President Trump, I have a positive assessment of it and think that it was useful,” Putin said.

Calling the sanctions “counterproductive and senseless, especially regarding such country like Russia,” Putin added that he hopes “that the realization that this policy doesn’t have a future will someday come to our American partners and we’ll begin to cooperate in a normal manner.”

Putin said that he and Trump exchanged positions on the most pressing issues to each other in Finnish capital, adding that “an exchange of views, direct conversation is always very useful.”

“No one was expecting that during the two-hour talks it would be possible to resolve all of the issues that have been controversial until now,” he added.

As for Russia’s relations with Europe, Putin expressed hope that “something positive will be done for the sake of restoring normal Russia-EU relations” during the second part of 2019 when it will be Finland’s turn to head the European Union.

The Russian president said that his talks with Niinistö were “constructive,” while the Finnish leader was more poetic in his choice of words and described the Sochi meeting as “sunny.”

The two leaders agreed to boost cooperation in environmental protection and discussed the settlement of the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts. Putin backed Niinistö’s proposal to increase flight safety over the Baltics and expressed commitment to working together with Helsinki in order to bolster security and stability in northern Europe.

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He also called Russia “the definitive supplier of gas” to Europe, adding that the country was ready for fair competition in the area.

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