Trump, Putin issue joint statement promoting unity between U.S., Russia

The statement celebrated the 75th anniversary of the 'Meeting on the Elbe.'

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Trump and Putin
President Trump and Vladimir Putin
(Anadolu Agency/Getty)
Last Updated:
April 25, 2020 - 4:20pm

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President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday issued a rare joint statement promoting unity and cooperation between their respective countries, calling for trust and cooperation "in pursuit of a greater cause."

The statement was meant to mark the 75th anniversary of the "Meeting on the Elbe," the historic confluence of American and Russian troops in Germany very near the end of World War II in what was seen as one of the final blows against Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler would commit suicide five days after the two sets of troops met at the Elbe River, with Germany surrendering a week later.

In the joint statement, the two leaders said the meeting "represented a culmination of tremendous efforts by the many countries and peoples" that "required enormous sacrifice by millions of soldiers, sailors, and citizens in multiple theaters of war." 

"The 'Spirit of the Elbe' is an example of how our countries can put aside differences, build trust, and cooperate in pursuit of a greater cause.  As we work today to confront the most important challenges of the 21st century, we pay tribute to the valor and courage of all those who fought together to defeat fascism," the statement continues, also paying tribute to the domestic industries that supplied the efforts on the warfront.  

The statement's message of fraternal international cooperation did not impress everyone, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that "some officials within the administration" have been "concerned about the decision to issue the statement, fearing that it may undercut the stern U.S. messages toward Moscow."

The message also stands in contrast to recent tensions between the two countries, such as Russia's recent intrusion earlier this month into the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone. Russian aircraft have been spotted numerous times in recent weeks near Alaskan airspace.  

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