US President Donald Trump has said that heavy sanctions imposed on Russia should not become a barrier for future friendly cooperation between the two nations, adding that cordial international relations would be likely to help resolve the North Korean threat and many other global issues.
Trump’s comments on the possible improvement of relations with Moscow came hours after he told reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin sincerely denied, on the sidelines of the APEC summit, any Kremlin interference in the US presidential election.
“Russia has been very very heavily sanctioned, they were sanctioned at a very high level and that took place very recently. It’s now time to get back to healing a world that is shattered and broken… I feel that having Russia in a friendly posture as opposed to always fighting with them is an asset to the world and an asset to our country, not a liability,” during a joint press conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dại Quang. “We have to get to work [with Russia] to solve Syria, to solve North Korea, to solve Ukraine, to solve terrorism,” the US leader stated.
Trump has clarified his remarks on Russia’s alleged meddling in 2016 US presidential elections, stressing that “I believe that he [Putin] feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not I am with our agencies… I believe in our intelligence agencies, I have worked with them very strongly.
In 2014, relations between Russia and the United States deteriorated over the alleged involvement of Moscow in the Ukrainian conflict and the reunification of Crimea with Russia. After that the EU and the US have imposed sanctions on Russian energy, banking, defense and other sectors of economy.
Commenting on the North Korean issue, Trump also stressed that the US needs “progress, not provocation.”
“All responsible nations must act now to ensure that North Korea’s rogue regime stops threatening the world with unthinkable loss of life,” according to Trump.
Trump welcomed Beijing’s moves to help put an end to the tensions in the region. Earlier on in the day, the US President said that he “tried hard” to be a friend of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in spite of all of his insults.
In September, Kim called Trump a “mentally deranged US dotard” after the US President threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if forced to defend the United States.
The situation on the Korean peninsula has escalated in recent months after Pyongyang carried out several ballistic missile and nuclear tests in violation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Earlier, the UNSC adopted its toughest resolution against North Korea, restricting oil exports, as well as the country’s access to gas liquids, and banning the import of textile products from the Asian nation.
Donald Trump described himself as “a very good mediator and arbitrator” while speaking about his readiness to help resolve the longstanding South China Sea territorial dispute among several states, and referred to Beijing’s stance on the issue as a problem. China has been reportedly building artificial islets in the sea.
“If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know,” Trump said.
A new round of tensions arose earlier this year when Vietnam had to halt its oil exploration project in the water area also contested by Beijing, allegedly because of China’s pressure.
Washington has been backing Hanoi in the dispute.