PRESIDENT PUTIN: (Via interpreter) Mr. Secretary of State, dear colleagues, we are glad to welcome you in Russia. As you know, several days ago I had the pleasure of talking to the President of the United States on the phone, and I had the impression that the President intends to rebuilding – intends to rebuild U.S.-Russian relations and contacts in order to solve the issues of mutual interest.
On our behalf, we have said it multiple times that we also would like to rebuild fully fledged relations, and I hope that right now a conducive environment is being built for that, because, though, however exotic the work of Special Counsel Mueller was, I have to say that on the whole he had a very objective investigation and he confirmed that there are no traces whatsoever of collusion between Russia and the incumbent administration, which we’ve said was absolutely fake. As we’ve said before, there was no collusion from our government officials and it could not be there. Still, that was – that was one of the reasons certainly breaking our (inaudible) ties.
I am hoping that today the situation is changing (inaudible), maintaining strategic stability, the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, on solving regional crises, fighting criminal gangs, environmental issues, eradicating poverty, and other threats in modern times, (inaudible) solutions on economic matters. (Inaudible) trade was quite low in – for the past years (inaudible) last year we saw some increase in trade. I think it has grown by 5 percent (inaudible).
We know the United States (inaudible) a major oil producer. In this regard, Russia has something to discuss regarding the stability of global energy markets. There are also other facets for our cooperation in economic security. I hope that all the (inaudible) be (inaudible) reason for our discussion.
My foreign minister reported to me a brief about your negotiations, and I wanted your visit as Secretary of State, your first time here, would benefit our bilateral ties and would facilitate their development. We are very happy to see you here.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for spending some time with me this evening. We did have a productive set of conversations this afternoon between us. There’s places we disagree; there’s places I think there are truly overlapping interests that we can build on, and most importantly, President Trump very much wants to do that. Always, just as you will, we’ll protect our nation’s interests, but there are places that our two countries can find where we can be cooperative, we can be productive, we can be cumulative, we can work together to make each of our two peoples more successful and, frankly, the world more successful too.
And so President Trump wants to do everything we can, and he asked me to travel here and communicate that – when we have a chance in a little bit, a couple other ideas to suggest. But some of our cooperation has been excellent, on North Korea, on Afghanistan. We’ve been doing work, counterterrorism work, together. These are things we can build upon, and I know we’ll get a chance to talk about our strategic security dialogue as well and the hopes that we have for that to work alongside you, and that’s very, very global in (inaudible).
Thank you again for having me here this evening.