16:19 GMT02 December 2020
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    US President Donald Trump, in phone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, offered assistance to Moscow in fighting wildfires in Siberia, the Kremlin press-service said Wednesday.

    According to the statement, Putin has informed the US president that a large air group has been deployed in Siberia to fight forest fires, adding that he would use Trump's offer of assistance if necessary.

    "The US president has offered Russia help in fighting wildfires in Siberia. The Russian president expressed his sincere gratitude for such a caring attitude and the offer of help and support. Putin noted that Russia would use it if necessary … The Russian president assessed this move on the part of the US president as a guarantee of the future restoration of full-fledged bilateral relations", the Kremlin’s press service said late on the same day.

    The Russian president viewed Trump's offer as a sign that fully-fledged bilateral relations could be restored in the future, according to a Kremlin statement. In addition, Putin and Trump agreed to continue contacts through phone calls and personal meetings, the statement said.

    "The Russian and US presidents have agreed to continue contacts by telephone and in person", the press service added.

    Putin earlier in the day tasked the ministry with assisting in the extinguishing of the wildfires ravaging Russia's Siberia and other regions. The wildfires have spread across 6.7 million acres, a 12-percent increase over 2018.

    The Russian Defence Ministry said in a press release on Wednesday that it would send 10 Il-76 aircraft and 10 helicopters to Krasnoyarsk region to fight wildfires.

    The Russian Emergencies Ministry on Monday imposed a state of emergency on the entire territory of Russia's Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions and also partially in Buryatia, over the mass wildfires.

    According to the ministry, because of the fire area expansion, smoke contamination is spreading to other regions of Russia's Siberia and Far East, the ministry noted.

    Meanwhile, the first deputy emergencies minister, Alexander Chupriyan, said Monday that wildfires in Russia's Siberia do not constitute a menace to local settlements or economic entities.


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