The Latest: Putin thinks Trump believed his election denials – Belleville News-Democrat

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The Latest on the Group of 20 summit (all times local):

4:28 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he thinks U.S. President Donald Trump believed his in-person denials of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential vote.

Putin spoke Saturday after the Group of 20 summit where he and Trump had their first face to face meeting.

He said Trump asked him numerous questions about Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election during a lengthy discussion on the issue.

Putin says he thinks his answers satisfied Trump, but added that Trump’s opinion would be better sought from the U.S. president himself.

He says Moscow and Washington would be able to improve their ties if the two countries keep relating the way he and Trump did.

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4:25 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Group of 20 summit achieved “good results in some areas” despite a logjam with the United States over climate change.

Merkel said discussions at the summit that ended Saturday had at times been “difficult” and that “I can only call things as they are.”

She pointed to a hard-won agreement on trade, one in which she said “every word was weighed.”

The trade language keeps the G-20’s longstanding condemnation of protectionism, but includes themes that echo Trump’s position that trade must be balanced and fair as well as free.

The countries agreed that trade needs to be “reciprocal and mutually advantageous” and that countries could use “legitimate trade defense instruments” to protect their markets.

Nineteen members agreed to support the Paris climate agreement, leaving the U.S. out in a separate paragraph that merely “takes note” of the U.S. rejection.

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4:05 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says 19 members of the Group of 20 have reaffirmed the Paris climate accord as “irreversible.”

Merkel said Saturday that the summit’s final statement “takes account” of the U.S. position rejecting the climate deal.

That leaves the United States as the odd one out after President Donald Trump announced his intent to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement. The Paris accord aims to lower emissions of the greenhouse gases scientists say cause global warming.

Merkel called the U.S. position “regrettable.”

Officials did reach a common statement including Trump about the other contentious issue at the summit, trade.

The statement retains the G-20’s longstanding rejection of protectionism. But it also acknowledged that trade must be mutually beneficial and that countries can use “legitimate” trade defenses to protect workers and industries against being taken advantage of by trade partners.

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3:05 p.m.

Tens of thousands of peaceful protesters are taking to the streets on a third day of demonstrations against the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, where violent riots have overshadowed some protest events.

About 20,000 protesters, including families, socialists, Kurdish groups and anarchists waving flags and shouting anti-capitalist slogans, marched through the city as G-20 leaders were inside the summit grounds tackling contentious issues like climate change, trade and terrorism.

Thousands of police officers were accompanying the marches, but many had removed their helmets and watched as protesters sang, danced and played music.

The gathering Saturday afternoon came after aggressive riots overnight in the city’s Schanzenviertel neighborhood, which is only a few hundred meters (yards) away from the summit grounds.

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2 p.m.

President Vladimir Putin says Russia will meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement.

Speaking at a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Putin said that “we honor the Paris agreement.” He added that Russia has made decisions related to the implementation of the deal and intends to implement them.

Macron hailed Putin’s pledge as “very important.”

Russia, the world’s fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, was among the 195 countries that signed the 2015 Paris agreement but it delayed its ratification for at least two years.

Russia’s carbon emissions reduction goals are very modest, and it also insisted that it be given the maximum potential credit for carbon adsorbed out of the atmosphere by vast Siberian forests.

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1:25 p.m.

Germany’s top security official is denouncing the rioting in Hamburg during the Group of 20 summit and saying that it is “the opposite of democratic protest.”

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Saturday after rioters set up street barricades, looted supermarkets and attacked police with slingshots: “These were unbounded violent excesses out of a desire for destruction and brutality.”

He added that “completely uninhibited attacks against people and objects, looting and arson by anarchists from Germany and Europe, have nothing to do with political motives or protest.”

De Maiziere said that police and judicial authorities must take a tough stance against such crimes, and it is good that arrests were made.

Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest city and has a strong militant scene. But de Maiziere said that “any criticism of the location of the meeting misjudges cause and effect.”

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