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Trump Reiterates Wish To Improve U.S. Relationship with Russia

August 28, 2017 (EIRNS)—In President Trump’s press conference today with Finnish President Niinisto, a Finnish reporter appeared to be trying to get Trump to say something negative about Russian maneuvers in the Baltic. She first tried to put Niinisto on the spot with a similar question, asking what advice he had given Trump with regard to dealing with such an “adversary." Niinisto replied that there were several maneuvers ongoing in the Baltic, by NATO as well as by Russia, but added that Finland was working above all to promote peace in the region.

"So we have to be very careful," he said,

"that this huge training, huge military trafficking over politics doesn’t cause any accidental problems. Because we know that from accidents might grow whatever. And that is why I think it’s important that we continue to work with NATO to enhance, like I said, dialogue between Russia and NATO. And it is going forward."

The same reporter then asked Trump whether he considered Russia a security threat. Replying that he considered many countries security threats considering the conditions in the world today, and pointing to Vice President Pence’s trip to U.S. allies in the region, he then rather deftly replied,

"I would consider many countries threats, but these are all threats that we’ll be able to handle if we have to. Hopefully, we won’t have to handle them, but if we do, we will handle them."

When she went on with her badgering, asking him what he would do if the circumstances deteriorated, Trump said simply, "We are very protective of that region."

Later, in reply to a question from another Finnish reporter, who asked whether Finland could be of help in improving the U.S. relationship with Russia, Trump replied,

"Well, I hope that we do have good relations with Russia. I say it loud and clear, I’ve been saying it for years: I think it’s a good thing if we have great relationships, or at least good relationships with Russia. That’s very important, and I believe someday that will happen. It’s a big country, it’s a nuclear country, it’s a country that we should get along with, and I think we will eventually get along with Russia."

"Finland is respected by Russia," Trump continued.

"Finland has been free of Russia, really—just about one of the few countries in the region that has been—for 100 years. And Russia has a lot of respect for Finland, so that’s always good. But I think Finland is doing fine with Russia, and I hope that the United States will someday be able to have a very good relationship with Russia also. I think that’s very good for world peace and for other things."

In reply to the same question, Niinisto said,

"I don’t feel myself or Finland being any advisor to anybody, but we try to do our best, and hopefully we get also results from that. I want to remind you that, in a NATO meeting, a year ago approximately, it was stated by all NATO countries that with Russia you have to be deterrence, but you have to exercise dialogue, too. These two-way elements have to be there."