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June 13, 2021
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Putin and Trump in their own words

By BBC Monitoring
The world through its media

It’s complicated: All eyes will be on the two men in their first official meeting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet US President Donald Trump for the first time this week on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The Kremlin says they will have “a fully-fledged, sit-down meeting” which will touch upon a number of pressing foreign policy issues, including Syria and Ukraine.

The meeting has been preceded by months of speculation about a “bromance” between Mr Putin and Mr Trump, fuelled by alleged Russian interference in last year’s US election and rumours that Russia strongly favoured Mr Trump over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

BBC Monitoring looks at what the two leaders have had to say about each other in recent years.

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Putin on Trump

Vladimir Putin has been fairly guarded about his views on Donald Trump. His most recent comment on his US counterpart was June, where he described Trump as “direct and open” person, who has a “fresh view”.

17 December 2015: “He is a very colourful person, talented, without any doubt. It is not our business to determine his merits, that is up to US voters, but he is the absolute leader in the presidential race.”

27 October 2016: “He has chosen a method to get through to voters’ hearts… He behaves extravagantly of course, we see this, but I think there’s a reason for this. He represents the part of US society that’s tired of having the elite in power for decades.”

9 November 2016: “I’d like to congratulate the American people on the completion of the electoral cycle and Mr Donald Trump on his victory in this election… Russia is ready and wants to restore fully-fledged relations with the USA.”

4 December 2016: “He could achieve success in business, which suggests that he’s a smart man. And if he’s a smart man, that means that he’ll fully and quickly enough realise this different level of responsibility. We expect that he will act with this perspective in mind.”

1 June 2017: “He can’t be put in the same category as traditional politicians. I see great advantages because he’s a person with a fresh view… Some people like him, some don’t.”

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Trump on Putin

During his presidential election campaign, Mr Trump spoke favourably of Mr Putin, saying that he “would possibly have a good relationship” with the Russian leader. However, in recent months his rhetoric towards Mr Putin has become noticeably more reserved.

28 April 2016: “I think he said some really nice things. He called me a genius. He said: ‘Trump’s a genius.’ Okay. So, you know, that’s nice… He has been very nice to me.”

28 July 2016: “I don’t think he has any respect for Clinton. I think he respects me. I think it would be great to get along with him.”

7 September 2016: “The man has very strong control over a country… It’s a very different system and I don’t happen to like the system but certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader far more than our president has been a leader.”

27 January 2017: “I don’t know the gentleman [Mr Putin]. I hope we have a fantastic relationship. That’s possible, and it’s also possible that we won’t… We’ll see what happens.”

19 March 2017: “Don’t know him but certainly he is a tough cookie. I don’t know how he is doing for Russia; we are going to find out one day.”

Trump speaks to Putin by phone.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe two men spoke by telephone shortly after Trump’s inauguration

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media 

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