Putin: US ‘more pragmatic’ on Syria

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that he believes the United States has become “more pragmatic” about the Syrian civil war.

“It seems to me that the US position (on Syria) has become more pragmatic. There is a comprehension that if we combine our efforts, we can achieve a lot,” Putin said in Germany, a day after his first meeting with Trump at the G20.

He added that after his first meeting with US counterpart Donald Trump that he expects US-Russian cooperation to improve and that Trump is “very different” in real life.

“The Trump that you see on TV is very different than the real Trump,” Putin told reporters at the G20 in Germany.

“There is every reason to believe that we will be able to at least partially re-establish the level of cooperation that we need.”

“One of the very important subjects was climate change. And here, the German presidency managed to find an optimal compromise,” said Putin.

Climate at G20

US President Donald Trump won key concessions on climate and trade Saturday from world leaders at a G20 summit in Germany, according to a final statement seen by AFP.

The final communique after two days of fractious talks in Hamburg says that the G20 countries “take note” of the US decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris accord on reducing greenhouse gases.

At the same time it leaves the door open to countries continuing to use fossil fuels, which are blamed for global warming.

It says the US “will endeavor to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and help deploy renewable and other clean energy sources, given the importance of energy access and security in their nationally determined contributions”.

On the key issue of trade, the rest of the G20 was also forced to accommodate Trump and his vow to put “America First” by looking after US companies.

While renewing an anti-protectionist pledge, the communique for the first time underlined the right of countries to protect their markets with “legitimate trade defense instruments”.