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    US President Donald Trump meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018

    Majority of Republicans Back Trump's Handling of Russia – Poll

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    US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki to discuss a host of important geopolitical issues, including the strained relations between the two countries and alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.

    A new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll reveals that 71 percent of Republicans approve of the way US President Donald Trump handles relations with Russia, as compared to only 14 percent of Democrats who gave the same answer.

    The poll also shows that 37 percent of registered voters in the United States share this sentiment, while 55 percent of registered voters take a dim view of Trump’s take on US-Russian relations.

    This development emerged in the wake of the summit in Helsinki where US President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the current state of bilateral relations along with pressing issues on the international agenda.

    While the two world leaders hailed the summit as successful and productive, a joint press conference of the heads of state sparked criticism among many current and former US officials. Particularly, ex-CIA chief Brennan lashed out at Trump, calling his performance "treasonous," while Senator Lindsey Graham slammed his speech as a "missed opportunity" to hold Russia accountable for alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

    READ MORE: US Media Smears Trump-Putin Talks to Thwart Cooperation With Russia — Analysts

    Top conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, however, praised Trump’s conduct at the meeting and blasted Trump’s critics.

    Sanctions of Discord

    A separate Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey shed light on another aspect of the bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington.

    According to the poll, 45 percent of likely voters in the United States believe that the sanctions imposed against Russia by the US government have been ineffective in changing Moscow’s policies, with 15 percent of likely voters rating them as "not at all effective."

    At the same time, 46 percent of likely voters consider the sanctions effective, including the 11 percent of respondents who deemed them "very effective."

    READ MORE: Efforts to Isolate Russia Have Failed — Putin

    Since 2014, the US has imposed several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia amid deteriorating relations between the two countries, with Moscow describing this policy as counterproductive.

    On July 17, US House Speaker Paul Ryan also told the media that Congress was willing to consider new sanctions against Russia over its alleged interference in American elections.


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