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.


Trump to issue sanctions, stop trade deal, increase tariffs on Turkey

Updated 14 October 2019

Trump to issue sanctions, stop trade deal, increase tariffs on Turkey

  • President vowed to "destroy" the Turkish economy
  • Critics say Trump's decision gave Turkey a green light to go against the Kurds

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Monday said that in response to Turkey's incursion into Syria he will soon issue an executive order authorizing sanctions against current and former Turkish officials, stop negotiations with Turkey on a $100 billion trade deal, and boost tariffs on Turkish steel to 50 percent.

In a statement in which he vowed to swiftly destroy the Turkish economy if it continues down "this dangerous and destructive path," Trump also said that U.S. troops coming out of Syria will redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation.

Before the invasion, Trump ordered a couple dozen US troops out of harm's way.

Critics say Trump's decision gave Turkey a green light to go against the Kurds, who had helped the US battle against Daesh militants.

More to follow...