Sunday, 25 Oct 2020

Putin wishes Trump a swift recovery, pledges support

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin wished Donald Trump a swift recovery on Friday after the U.S. president tested positive for COVID-19.

“I am certain that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with this dangerous virus,” Putin wrote to Trump in a telegram, pledging his support during “this difficult time”, according to the Kremlin.

15 PHOTOSPresident Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in FinlandSee GalleryPresident Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in FinlandRussia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.HELSINKI, FINLAND – JULY 16, 2018: The national flags of Russia and the United States seen ahead of a meeting of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)US President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)(Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and First lady Melania Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERSATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.HELSINKI, FINLAND – JULY 16: (—-EDITORIAL USE ONLYMANDATORY CREDIT – ‘KREMLIN PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT’ – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS—-) (L-R) US First Lady Melania Trump, US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and his wife Jenni Haukio pose for a photo during their meeting in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Kremlin Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and First lady Melania Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERSATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueU.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueRussia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERSATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.HELSINKI, FINLANDJULY 16, 2018: US President Donald Trump (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin give a joint news conference following their meeting at the Presidential Palace. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin react at the end of the joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard FoegerU.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during their joint news conference after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueRussia’s President Vladimir Putin (C), U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and First lady Melania Trump pose for a picture with a football during a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERSATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.HELSINKI, FINLANDJULY 16, 2018: US First Lady Melania Trump, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, and US President Donald Trump (L-R) after a news conference at the Presidential Palace. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)U.S. First Lady Melania Trump holds a football thrown to her by U.S. President Donald Trump during his joint news conference with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueUp Next

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Russia’s ties with the United States remain strained over many issues, from arms control to the conflict in Syria, as well as allegations of Russian interference in U.S. politics, something Moscow denies.

On social media, many Russians wished Trump well but others responded with derisive comments, or with jokes. Some took the opportunity to highlight Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“Let’s treat him with the Russian vaccine and medication,” wrote Alex Korolyov on the social media platform VK. “Then he will be our Trump.”

With hundreds of potential vaccines in various stages of development around the world, Russia was the first country to license its vaccine for public use and alongside China has been deploying the shots before full efficacy trials are complete.

Sergei Vlasov, another VK user, wrote that Trump should be airlifted to Russia for treatment.

“We need to urgently bring Trump to Moscow. We don’t trust American medicine, his life there is at risk,” Vlasov wrote.

One Twitter user said Trump should be flown to the same Siberian hospital where doctors treated Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in August.

Navalny was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent, according to German, French and Swedish laboratories. Moscow denies this and says it has yet to see evidence of poisoning.

Alexander Gintsburg, head of the institute that produced Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, told RIA news agency he expected the United States to take proper care of its president but said other U.S. officials should consider getting the Russian jab.

“It would have been good to vaccinate him,” Gintsburg said of Trump.

(Additional reporting by Alexander Marrow, Gleb Stolyarov and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Frances Kerry)

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