Russian President Vladimir Putin.—TASS/VNA Photo
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin appreciates US President Donald Trump's offer to help with extinguishing wildfires in Siberia as a signal that Moscow and Washington will manage to fully normalise relations in the future, the Kremlin press service said on Wednesday.
"The Russian president appreciated this step by the US president as a signal that the two countries will manage to restore full-format relations in the future," the Kremlin said.
"Putin and Trump have agreed to continue contacts both in the format of telephone conversations and personal meetings," the Kremlin added.
On Wednesday evening, Putin and Trump held a telephone conversation, in which the US president offered help in combating wildfires in Siberia.
The Russian president expressed sincere gratitude to Trump "for such attentive attitude, for offering help and support." Putin noted that Russia will accept the offer if needed.
The Kremlin said that Putin told Trump that an effective aviation group has been set up in Siberia for combating wildfires.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry said earlier that "there are some difficulties, but issues of refueling and stationing aircraft and helicopters are being resolved."
According to the Aerial Forest Protection Service, as of July 31 wildfires are blazing on the territory of nearly 2.8 million hectares in the control zone (hard to access zone). Largest wildfires are registered in Yakutia (1.1 million hectares), Krasnoyarsk (over 1 million hectares) and Irkutsk (around 700,000 hectares) regions.
Over 2,700 people, 390 units of ground equipment and 28 aircraft are involved in extinguishing wildfires. A state of emergency over forest fires was declared in Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions, as well as in two districts of Buryatia region and one district of Yakutia region.
On Wednesday, Putin ordered 10 aircraft and 10 helicopters of the Russian Defense Ministry to join the firefighting efforts. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev held a session in Krasnoyarsk on the situation with Siberian wildfires.
On Thursday, Medvedev will make a working visit to Chita, where he will discuss developing Zabaikalsky region and combating wildfires.—TASS