MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Putin and Trump held their first official meeting, which ran over two hours despite being scheduled to last half an hour, on July 7, on the sidelines of the G20 summit. The two leaders discussed a number of issues, including cybersecurity and conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.
"President Trump himself answered the allegations [with respect to Russia] that he trusted Putin. As Putin said, he clearly reminded all those who have nothing better to do than to engage in this dirty business, that what president Putin said about this part of the discussion of the press conference that president Trump raised the issue, president Putin confirmed that we never did anything to interfere in the American elections and that he, president Putin, got an impression that president trump accepted this explanation," Lavrov told the NBC network in an interview.
"I feel like I’m at the hearing in the Senate on the investigation of Trump betraying the interests of the United States of America," the Russian minister said.
The discussion of cybersecurity issues at the meeting of Putin and Trump was the US initiative, he said. Lavrov said that the leaders during the talks picked subjects on which their countries could "cooperate for the benefit of their own people, for the benefit of the security in the region, in the world."
"They did discuss cybersecurity, president Trump raised this issue, he said he clearly remembered what president Putin publicly said answering the questions about whether Russia meddled with the us election and the answer was ‘no,’" Lavrov said.
According to the minister, "the president of the united states really showed interests in having these issues discussed."
Russia insists in its dialogue with the United States that countries discuss all possible concerns in cybersecurity, Lavrov said,
"We reiterated this approach that we want cyberspace to be the area where we discuss all concerns, be it the interference in domestic affairs of any sovereign state, be it the use of cyberspace for terrorist purposes or for the purposes of drug business, paedophilia, other violations of international legislation," Lavrov said.
Russian officials have repeatedly denied the allegations of meddling in US elections, calling them absurd and created to deflect public opinion from pressing domestic issues.