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(RT News 7/7/2017) ~ The moment before Russian president Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Donald Trump locked palms has been compared to a scene from the popular political drama ‘House of Cards.’

Donald Trump’s ascend to the White House has often been compared to something out of fiction. 

But on Friday at the G20 Summit, Trump’s meeting with Putin in front of the cameras took on the uncanny resemblance of a scene from a Netflix series.

The two leaders are in Hamburg as part of a meeting between international leaders to discuss pressing global issues such as Syria, climate change, global finance, migration and terrorism.

The G20 summit has already yielded two handshakes between Putin and Trump, with the second official greeting garnering the most interest due to its resemblance to a scene in chapter 29 of the ‘House of Cards.’

In the 2015 episode, the fictionalized US President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and President of the Russian Federation Viktor Petrov (Lars Mikkelsen) are at loggerheads over a European missile defense system.

But there doesn’t appear to have been the same animosity in real-life, according to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said the pair had “positive chemistry”.

However, Putin did appear to look down on Trump’s open hand gesture just before shaking it.

Putin & Trump agree to create bilateral channel to promote Ukraine settlement – Lavrov

(RT News 7/7/2017) ~ A special channel between the Russian and American presidents will be established to further push for a settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov has announced following the Putin-Trump meeting.

Additional efforts will be made “to support” the Minsk peace agreements and the work of the existing contact group on Ukraine, Russia’s chief diplomat said.

While discussing Ukraine, the American side informed us that they had appointed a special representative to assist the efforts on settling the Ukrainian crisis.

Arrangements have been made to create a channel between presidents of Russia and US to use this opportunity that Washington has, to further advance the settlement based on the Minsk agreements and considering the potential established in the contact group and the Normandy format,” Lavrov told reporters during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Moscow hopes to soon meet the US representative “for consultations,” he added.

Saying that “everyone is interested” in fulfillment of the Minsk agreements, to which Kiev “is the main part,” Lavrov said Moscow “senses that its Western partners very much understand the necessity of additional influence” on the peace process which so far has been delayed.

Citing his “long” talks with the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier in the day, as well as a Thursday meeting with the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, Lavrov said everyone agrees the crisis needs to be settled within the framework of the Minsk agreements.

I have a feeling that it has been confirmed that both the Russian and American presidents are driven by their national interests, which they see primarily in looking for mutually beneficial agreements rather than by trying to play out some confrontational scenarios.

Lavrov added that the Ukrainian issue had been discussed “in a concrete, businesslike” manner.

Putin, Trump discussed crisis in Syria and fighting terrorism

(Hamburg, 7/7/2017, SANA) ~ Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with US President Donald Trump the crisis in Syria and counter-terrorism on the sideline of the G20 Summit currently being held in Hamburg, Germany.

During a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Putin said that he and Trump talked at length about a large number of issues, which included the crisis in Syria and fighting terrorism.

At the beginning of his meeting with Trump, Putin said that phone calls alone aren’t sufficient to resolve issues and meeting in person is necessary.

In the same context, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a press conference after the aforementioned meeting that Russian, American, and Jordanian experts reached an agreement on a memo of understanding for establishing a de-escalation zone in Daraa, Quneitra, and Sweida, and that a ceasefire will begin in these areas as of July 9th at noon.

Lavrov said that there’s confirmation to the US and Jordan’s commitment to the unity and integrity of Syrian territory, adding that Russian military police will preserve security around de-escalation zones.

He also said that the how de-escalation zones in Homs and al-Ghouta will look in was also discussed during the Astana meetings, and talks about a similar zone in the north are still ongoing.

RT News 7/7/2017
RT News 7/7/2017
Hamburg, 7/7/2017, SANA
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