Monday, July 10, 2017

Putin-Trump: Get Your Stories Straight

I suspect the differing stories from Russia and the Trump cabal lies in an agreement - spoken or simply understood - that publicly, at least, each must play to his home base.
“Cybersecurity remains a key issue in US-Russian relations, as far as I know, [the presidents] discussed this issue for at least 40 minutes at the meeting [on the sidelines of G20],” Svetlana Lukash, a Russian G20 sherpa, or representative of the Russian president at the summit, said.


“President Putin made a suggestion to create a working group [on cybersecurity], this does not mean that it must start work tomorrow,” Lukash said.


Lukash was referring to Trump’s recent comments, saying that the fact that he discussed an impenetrable cybersecurity unit with Putin during their first-ever meeting “doesn't mean I think it can happen.”


According to the Russian official, the key point about these talks was that “the US is ready to consider cooperation in this area."

“We shall see later, maybe it will be a working group, maybe it will be an interaction within UN. Anyway, our countries need to discuss these issue, this is exactly what the presidents agreed upon,” Lukash added.

“Maybe now, at this stage, President Trump is not ready for such a concrete initiative.

“But this does not mean that there will be no cooperation between the two countries in this area, in any form convenient for both sides,” Lukash said.

Trump’s comments on Twitter would have no effect on the level of trust between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“Why should it affect trust? It can’t affect it,” Peskov said when asked about the US president’s tweet.On Saturday, Putin confirmed that he and Trump had shared their views on the issue, saying both had agreed to “create a working group and work together on how to jointly monitor security in cyberspace.”

Trump tweeted on Sunday that he and Putin had discussed forming an impenetrable cybersecurity unit to prevent election hacking. However, later he took a step back from his comments after a backlash from Republican senators, who dubbed the plan “close to the dumbest idea.”

What idea has been dumber? We should know about it.

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