US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin made a rare joint statement on Saturday commemorating the connection between US and Soviet troops in WWII 1945 on the road to defeat Nazi Germany to show how their countries can work together.
The Trump and Putin statement is found amid deep tensions in US-Russia relations on a number of issues, from arms control to Russia's intervention in Ukraine and Syria, to US accusations that Russia has disinformation the novel corona virus pandemic spread and interfered in US election campaigns.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the decision to make the statement sparked a debate within the Trump administration. Some officials feared that they could undermine strict US embassies to Moscow.
The joint statement was the anniversary of the meeting of Soviet soldiers from the east and American troops from the west on a bridge over the Elbe in Germany on April 25, 1945.
"This event heralded the decisive defeat of the Nazi regime," the statement said. "The & # 39; Spirit of the Elbe & # 39; is an example of how our countries can set aside differences, build trust and work together to pursue a bigger cause."
The journal said the last joint statement on connecting the Elbe Bridge was published in 2010 as the Obama administration sought to improve relations with Moscow.
Trump had hoped to travel to Moscow for the anniversary. He complimented Putin, encouraged cooperation with Moscow, and said he believed the Russian leader's rejection of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
By contrast, senior officials and lawmakers have criticized Russia, with nuclear weapons relations at their lowest since the end of the Cold War.
Republican-led Senate intelligence committee released a bipartisan report Tuesday that matched a 2017 U.S. intelligence rating that Russia was pursuing a campaign of misinformation and cyber-hacking to vote Trump over its democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
U.S. intelligence officials have warned lawmakers that Moscow is interfering in the 2020 presidential campaign Russia is contesting.
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