Trump offers Putin help with Siberian wildfires — Kremlin

Heavy smoke covers the center of the eastern Siberian city of Chita, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, as Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits the region. Russian authorities have declared a state of emergency in five areas, including all of the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions, which lie north of Mongolia. (AP)
Updated 01 August 2019

Trump offers Putin help with Siberian wildfires — Kremlin

  • The Kremlin said the two leaders had spoken by phone at Washington’s initiative
  • Putin ordered the Russian army to help firefighters battle the wildfires

MOSCOW: US President Donald Trump offered his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin help in putting out vast wildfires that are raging in Siberia, the Kremlin said late on Wednesday, a move it said Putin took as a sign that battered ties can be restored.
The Kremlin said the two leaders had spoken by phone at Washington’s initiative, hours after Putin ordered the Russian army to help firefighters battle the wildfires.
The fires have spread to around 3 million hectares of mostly remote forest, an area almost the size of Belgium, according to the Federal Forestry Agency, wafting smoke across Siberia and prompting several regions to declare states of emergency.
“The US president offered Russia cooperation in fighting forest fires in Siberia,” the Kremlin statement said.
“President Putin expressed his sincere gratitude for such an attentive attitude and for the offer of help and support.”
Putin told Trump that Moscow would take him up on his offer if necessary, the Kremlin said, adding: “The Russian president took this step from the US president as a sign that in the future we can restore full-scale ties between our two countries.”
Russia has long been keen to try to start rebuilding battered US-Russia relations, which remain strained by everything from Syria to Ukraine and allegations of Russian interference in US politics, which Moscow denies.
The two leaders agreed to continue their contacts over the phone and in face-to-face meetings, the Kremlin said.
The White House confirmed the two men had spoken by phone and said they had discussed the wildfires as well as trade between their two nations.


Japan’s Abe says he will meet Iran’s Rouhani this month in NY

Updated 32 min 59 sec ago

Japan’s Abe says he will meet Iran’s Rouhani this month in NY

  • Abe added that he would travel to Belgium after the UNGA session
  • He is also meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday he would meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the end of the month, as regional tensions rise in the Middle East after the weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities, public broadcaster NHK said.
It was during a meeting with members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that Abe repeated his intention of speaking with Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, according to NHK.
Abe added that he would travel to Belgium after the UNGA session and meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, NHK said.