1 Aug 2019 09:31

Trump offers Putin help in combating Siberian wildfires

MOSCOW. Aug 1 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed wildfires raging in Russia in a recent phone call, with the U.S. leader offering help to Moscow.

"A telephone conversation took place between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump on the American side's initiative tonight. The U.S. president offered to help Russia in combating forest fires in Siberia," the Kremlin press service told Interfax on Wednesday.

"The president of Russia expressed his sincere gratitude for such close attention and the offer of assistance and support. Vladimir Putin also noted that the Russian side would take advantage of this offer if necessary," it said.

"Vladimir Putin, in turn, informed his American counterpart that a major air force to combat the fires has already been formed in Siberia. According to the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's reports, issues concerning the refueling and stationing of airplanes and helicopters are being resolved, albeit with certain difficulties," the press service said.

"The president of Russia assessed this step on the part of the U.S. president as a prerequisite that it would be possible to restore full-fledged relations between the two countries in the future," it said.

"The presidents of Russia and the U.S. also agreed to continue their contacts both over the phone and during personal meetings," it said.