Trump and Putin issued a joint statement calling for renewed US and Russian cooperation despite ongoing tensions between both governments.
“The ‘Spirit of the Elbe’ is an example of how our countries can put aside differences, build trust, and cooperate in pursuit of a greater cause,” read the statement, which referenced cooperation between America and Russia throughout World War II.
Such statements commemorating the WWII event are rare, and the last one was issued back in 2010 by President Obama.
The statement raised concerns from lawmakers and policymakers that remain skeptical about Moscow’s goals, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a symbolic joint statement on Saturday calling for renewed cooperation, The Wall Street Journal first reported, and raised fresh concerns about their relationship.
The declaration was aimed to highlight cooperation between America and Russia throughout World War II and it commemorated the 75th anniversary of the linkup of US and Russian troops at the Elbe River in Germany on April 25, 1945. It signified the end of the war was near.
In the statement, both Trump and Putin said they sought to cast their differences aside and cooperate on major issues.
“The ‘Spirit of the Elbe’ is an example of how our countries can put aside differences, build trust, and cooperate in pursuit of a greater cause,” the statement said.
It was first published by the Kremlin, and the White House published it later as well.
The event isn’t usually commemorated, though President Obama last issued a similar declaration with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010.
The statement raised fresh concerns from lawmakers and policymakers, the Journal reported. There are still ongoing tensions over Moscow’s disinformation campaign during the 2016 election and its efforts to aid President Trump.
Diplomats and national security officials have long been skeptical about Moscow’s ultimate goals, according to the newspaper. The Russian government is providing critical military aid to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that turned the tide of the civil war in his favor, helping him defeat American-backed rebel groups.
Putin had invited Trump to Moscow for the country’s annual May 9 parade celebrating the end of World War II. Trump turned down the opportunity, and the event was later canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Some experts fear the spate of anti-lockdown protests in the US could provide a ripe opportunity to Russia to interfere in American politics, Business Insider’s Sonam Sheth recently reported.
“We should be on guard,” former acting CIA director John McLaughlin previously said. “They have to be tempted. It’s a natural target for them.”
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