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President Trump Calls Putin To Offer Help with Siberia Wildfires, Better Relations in the Offing

Aug. 1, 2019 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin held a late-night telephone discussion on July 31, initiated by Trump. 

According to the White House, they discussed the Siberian wild fires and trade. Trump “expressed concern over the vast wildfires afflicting Siberia. The leaders also discussed trade between the two countries,” according to a brief statement from Trump’s press office.

According to the Kremlin release, whereas Trump offered help in extinguishing the wildfires, Putin saw the call as a signal that the two countries will manage to restore full format relations. The full Kremlin statement reads: “The U.S. President offered help in putting out wildfires in Siberia.  

“The President of Russia expressed sincere gratitude for the kind attention and the offer of help and assistance. Vladimir Putin said he will accept the offer if it becomes necessary. He also told his American colleague that a powerful group of aircraft had been formed in Siberia to fight the wildfires. According to the Emergencies Ministry, solutions have been found to problems with the refuelling and deployment of airplanes and helicopters.   

“The President of Russia regards the U.S. President’s offer as a sign that it is possible that full-scale bilateral relations will be restored in the future.   

“The Presidents of Russia and the United States agreed to continue contacts in the form of telephone conversations as well as personal meetings.”  

TASS reports that according to the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service, as of July 31 nearly 2.8 million hectares in the control zone (hard to access zone) are affected by the wildfire with the most severe being in Yakutia (1.1 million hectares), Krasnoyarsk (over 1 million hectares) and Irkutsk (around 700,000 hectares) regions. Over 2,700 people, 390 units of ground equipment and 28 aircraft are involved in extinguishing wildfires.

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