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2020-04-26

Trump and Putin issue a rare joint declaration to promote cooperation

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Trump and Putin have said in their deep strains in U.S .- Russian ties that Russia has spread the new coronavirus pandemic and interfered with U.S. campaigns over a variety of issues, from the arms control and Russia's intervention in Ukraine and Syria to the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the decision to issue the statement generated debate in the Trump administration, which worried some officials that it could undermine US stern messages to Moscow.

The joint statement marked the anniversary of the meeting of Soviet soldiers marching from the East and American troops moving from the West on a bridge over the Elbe River in Germany on April 25, 1945.

"This event heralded the Nazi regime's decisive defeat," the statement stated. "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 Journal said the last joint statement marking the link-up to the Elbe River bridge was issued in 2010, when the Obama administration sought to improve relations with Moscow.

Trump had hoped to go to Moscow to commemorate the anniversary. He was Putin's complimentary, encouraged cooperation with Moscow, and said he believed Russian leader's denial of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

In contrast, senior administration officials and lawmakers have been fiercely critical of Russia, with the nuclear-armed nations' relations at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.

On Tuesday, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee issued a bipartisan report concurrent with a 2017 U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia was pursuing an influential campaign of misinformation and cyber hacking aimed at swinging Trump's vote over its Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

U.S. intelligence officials have warned legislators that Moscow is interfering with the presidential election campaign 2020 denied by Russia.

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