Putin, Trump chat on Islamic State, 'cooperation'

  • 29/01/2017
Donald Trump (Reuters)
Donald Trump (Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump say they want to cooperate in Syria to defeat Islamic State, the Kremlin says.

In an eagerly awaited phone call, the first since Mr Trump's inauguration, the two men stressed on Saturday the importance of restoring economic ties between the two countries and of stabilising relations, the Kremlin said.

US-Russia relations had hit a post-Cold War low under Barack Obama and Mr Trump has made clear he wants a rapprochement with Moscow if he can get along with Mr Putin.

"Both sides demonstrated a mood for active, joint work on stabilising and developing Russian-American cooperation," the Kremlin said in a statement, saying Mr Putin and Mr Trump had agreed to work on finding a possible time and place for a meeting.

There was no mention in the statement that the possibility of Mr Trump easing sanctions on Moscow imposed over the Ukraine conflict had been mentioned, a subject widely expected to be raised.

The Kremlin said Mr Trump and Mr Putin had agreed to establish "partner-like cooperation" when it came to global issues such as Ukraine, Iran's nuclear program, tensions on the Korean peninsula and the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Mr Trump's stance on Russia has been under intense scrutiny from critics who say he was elected with help from Russian intelligence, an allegation he denies. His detractors have also accused him of being too eager to make an ally of Putin.

For Mr Putin, an easing of Western sanctions would be a major coup ahead of next year's presidential election as it would help the economy recover.