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Putin is a "competitor", not an "enemy" – Trump

Brussel – US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he sees his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as a "competitor", not an "enemy", days before meeting for a high-risk summit.

"Someone said," Is he an enemy? No, he's not my enemy, is he your friend? No, I do not know him well enough, but the two times I met him we got along very well.

"But finally it's a competitor. He is representing Russia, I am representing the United States, "Trump added. I hope that one day I will be a friend, I just do not know. "

Trump said he would talk about the civil war in Syria, the conflict in Ukraine, as well as the accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.

"I will ask about the meddling, your favorite question," he told reporters during a press conference during a NATO summit in Brussels.

"All I can do is say … right? & # 39; and you do not do it again & # 39; He can deny, "added Trump.

The US president was also asked if he would be willing to recognize Crimea as part of Russia after Moscow annexed it to Ukraine in 2014.

Some news reports and analysts have suggested Trump might be willing to grant the territory to Putin in exchange for cooperation in Syria.

"What will happen to Crimea from now on? I can not tell you that, but I'm not happy with Crimea. "

Trump blamed his predecessor Barack Obama for" having allowed it to happen. "

" That was on Barack Obama's clock, that was not running Watch of Trump. Would he have allowed it to happen? No, I would not. "

He also said he hoped to discuss NATO's military exercises near the border with Russia in the Baltic Sea, which Moscow considers provocative.

European nations are desperate for the United States maintain its military commitment to continue defending the continent under the NATO military alliance.

"We will talk about that," said Trump.


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