Trump Offers Russia Help In Battling Wildfires After Threatening To End Federal Wildfire Aid To California

CNBC reports:

U.S. President Donald Trump offered his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin help in putting out vast wildfires that are raging in Siberia, the Kremlin said late on Wednesday, a move it said Putin took as a sign that battered ties can be restored.

The Kremlin said the two leaders had spoken by phone at Washington’s initiative, hours after Putin ordered the Russian army to help firefighters battle the wildfires.

The fires have spread to around 3 million hectares of mostly remote forest, an area almost the size of Belgium, according to the Federal Forestry Agency, wafting smoke across Siberia and prompting several regions to declare states of emergency.

CNN reports:

Putin saw the gesture as a step towards warmer relations between both countries, the Kremlin wrote. “The president of Russia praised this move by the President of the United States as a guarantee that in the future it will be possible to restore full-fledged relations between the two countries,” it said.

The phone conversation took place on the “initiative of the American side,” the Kremlin added. The Russian leader expressed his “sincere gratitude” and said he would take Trump up on his offer “if necessary.”