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US President Donald Trump (C) shakes hands with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin next to US First Lady Melania Trump (L) ahead a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. The US and Russian leaders opened an historic summit in Helsinki, with Donald Trump promising an “extraordinary relationship” and Vladimir Putin saying it was high time to thrash out disputes around the world.
Aleksey NIKOLSKYI / Sputnik / AFP

 

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Friday spoke with US counterpart Donald Trump for the third time in two weeks, discussing the coronavirus pandemic and global oil prices.

Putin earlier told the US-Russian crew aboard the International Space Station that the ISS is “an example of an effective partnership of our countries” as the world fights the pandemic.

The two leaders spoke on March 30, after which Russia sent a plane of medical equipment to New York. On Thursday night, they discussed oil prices together with the King of Saudi Arabia.

Friday’s conversation focussed on the new OPEC-driven agreement to cut oil output to shore up prices, according to a readout published by the Kremlin.

The two also “discussed issues pertaining the coronavirus pandemic” and cooperation in space, it said.

A White House spokesman said the presidents “discussed the latest efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and maintain stability in global energy markets.”

Trump and Putin have had a flurry of contacts since late March, with Trump saying on Thursday that they “get along very well”, even though bilateral relations have been at their lowest point since the Cold War.

Moscow last week has sent a military plane with medical aid and equipment to New York, the epicentre of the US coronavirus epidemic.

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