US and Russian diplomats share conflicting accounts of Trump-Putin meeting

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 09 July 2017, 05:50 hrs, UTC, Post #251.


Accessed on 09 July 2017, 05:50 hrs, UTC.

Reporter”  Jonathan Easley.

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Conventional wisdom following a high-level diplomatic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin seems to suggest that nothing much was accomplished in resolving charges that Russian cyber warfare teams tried to influence the November 2016 General Election in the United States.  Correspondent Jonathan Easley says the results of the meeting were largely “his said/he said” comments from both sides.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov adds that President Trump “accepted” Putin’s claim that Russia did not interfere with last year’s election.

According to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, President Trump pressed Mr. Putin on the matter despite the Russian President’s repeated denials.

Mr. Tillerson summed up the meeting this way:

“The two leaders agreed that this is a substantial hindrance on the ability of us to move Russian-U.S. relationships forward and agreed to exchange further work 
regarding commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those of other countries,” Tillerson said. “So more work to be done in that regard.”

Tillerson said the countries agreed to further bilateral talks on how to ensure the integrity of U.S. elections against Russian cyberattacks.

“[We are not] dismissing the issue in any way,” Tillerson said. “That is why we’ve agreed to continue engagement and discussion around how do we secure a commitment that the Russian government has no intention of and will not interfere in our affairs in the future, nor in the affairs of others, and how do we create a framework in which we have some capability to judge what is happening in the cyber world and who to hold accountable.”

“The president rightly focused on how do we move forward from what may be simply an intractable disagreement at this point…”

A bit more progress was reported on U.S./Russian cooperation in the Syrian Civil War.  According to reports from the Associated Press (“Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Saturday, 08 July 2017, p. A2), Russia and the United States “struck an agreement Friday on a cease fire in southwest Syria.”  The AP says the bilateral agreement takes effect on Sunday, 09 July 2017.  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told AP that “the understanding is designed to reduce violence in an area of Syria near Jordan’s border that is critical to the U.S. ally’s security.”

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Until next time,

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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