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Vladimir Putin 'Bromance': Will Donald Trump Ties Dampen as China's Xi Jinping Calls Russian President His 'Best Friend'
Very shortly after Donald Trump got elected as the 45th President of the United States, his relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin has been a great matter of interest to many. Things are likely to become much more engrossing after Chinese President Xi Jinping referred to Putin as his “best friend.”
While Trump was at the end of his official three-day visit in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, Putin was just welcoming Xi in Russia for his own visit and series of talks. And it clearly started on a great note.
"President Putin is for me a best friend," Xi told reporters upon arriving in Russia. "We decided that we would raise our bilateral relations to a new, higher level - increasing our mutual support and assistance, and promote our relations in a new era.”
On the other hand, Putin celebrated Xi’s arrival by affirming that Russia’s so-called pivot to China program is going as planned. That is despite Russia being sanctioned by the United States over its handling of the crisis in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Xi will obviously not be calling Trump his best friend anytime soon. Not with a trade war escalating since last year. Historically, the U.S. and Russia have a complicated relationship until Trump took office. One of the biggest controversies Trump faced upon being elected were allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections that contributed to his victory. A special investigation led by counsel Robert Mueller ensued and found 12 Russian intelligence officers guilty. Mueller, however, did not find Trump’s camp conspiring with Putin’s state.
Trump also later declared he believed Putin’s words that the 12 individuals did not act on official Russian government business. “He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump said at a press conference. “I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. ... He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer.”