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Trump-Putin meeting will not lead to another Yalta, Polish official says

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 17.07.2018 08:30
Those who thought the Trump-Putin meeting would lead to a second Yalta were “very wrong”, the Polish president's chief of staff, Krzysztof Szczerski, has said.
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Photo: EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEVDonald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Photo: EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEV

Poland watched carefully as US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down for more than two hours of talks in Helsinki on Monday.

Szczerski said the US and Russian presidents did not see eye to eye on many issues and that a reorganisation of Europe, like that resulting from the Yalta Conference towards the end of World War II, was not on the table.

He added that, when Trump said that the historic meeting “changed” America's “bad relations” with Russia, he probably meant that a lack of dialogue was a mistake and that the US should be open to talking with Russia.

Deputy Polish Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk told Polish broadcaster TVP that it was hard to judge whether the Trump-Putin meeting was the start of new relations between Russia and the US.

He also said “only time will tell” whether Trump's “attempt to start a dialogue” with Putin would be a success, adding that it was “a risky game”.

Polish opposition leader Grzegorz Schetyna questioned whether “Trump knows what he is playing at,” pointing to the US president's seeming inclination to trust Putin more than US intelligence on whether Russia meddled in elections in America.

'Reliable ally'

Polish conservative MP Jacek Sasin said that Poland “had nothing to worry about” after the Trump-Putin meeting, because “history shows the US is a reliable ally”.

Szynkowski vel Sęk added that the US said it was “ready and decided to compete on the gas market” with Russia.

He added that Poland did not need to feel threatened by its “aggressive” neighbour Russia because security on NATO's eastern flank had been stepped up.

The meeting between the Russian and US presidents was the first since Trump moved into the White House in early 2017.

At a joint press conference, Putin called the meeting in Helsinki “successful and fruitful” while Trump said it was “open, deeply productive dialogue”. (vb/pk)

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