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Putin: Trump believed denials over Russian meddling in US vote

The Russian president has met his US counterpart for the first time.

Vladimir Putin has said he thinks US president Donald Trump believed his personal denials of Russian meddling in the American presidential vote.

The Russian president spoke after the G20 summit in Hamburg, where he and Mr Trump held their first face-to-face meeting.

He said Mr Trump asked him numerous questions about Russia’s alleged interference in the US election during a lengthy discussion on the issue.

Mr Putin said he thinks his answers satisfied his American counterpart, but added that Mr Trump’s opinion would be better sought from the US president himself.

He said Moscow and Washington would be able to improve their ties if the two countries keep relating the way he and Mr Trump did.

Earlier, Mr Trump described his lengthy head-to-head encounter with Mr Putin as a “tremendous meeting”.

His comments about meeting Mr Putin came as he sat alongside Mrs May for a morning exchange on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany.

It was his first comment on the high-profile talks with Mr Putin in which he raised the issue of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US elections and discussed plans for a ceasefire agreement in Syria.

Mr Trump was expected to focus on talks to counter North Korea’s push for ballistic missile and nuclear programmes, international trade and ways to combat terrorism.

Noting his country’s “special relationship” with Great Britain, the president said he and Mrs May were working on a trade agreement that he described as a “very, very big deal, very powerful, great deal for both countries”.

Mrs May was the first foreign leader to visit Mr Trump at the White House and he told her he would soon “be going to London” once details were worked out.

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