The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) an association of 21 countries in Asia, on the Pacific Rim, held a summit meeting at Da Nang in Vietnam. The most important part of the conference was the anticipated meeting between the US President and the Russian leader Putin. As per reports, the two leaders met on the sidelines of the of APEC events. To the chagrin of Putin, there was no scheduled private meeting, but all the same, the significance of the meeting cannot be overstated. A sour point with the US press was that no reporters were allowed to cover the meeting.

There have been conflicting accounts from the Russians and Americans about what was discussed at the meeting, according to Newsweek.

Putin - Trump meeting

As per the US President, he asked Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Russian president forcefully denied it. He went on to add that being asked this question repeatedly was insulting to Putin and he cautioned that this was not a good thing. From this, it is clear that trump believes Putin more than the intelligence agencies who stand by their accusation that the Russians interfered in the US presidential election in favor of Trump.

The report from the Russian side about the meeting was different. CNN has quoted the Russian president’s press secretary Dmitri Peskov as having said that the Russian interference was not discussed.

Russian investigation

At home, the Russian investigation is getting hotter and two of Trump's aides, Manafort and Papadopoulos, have been indicted. One other associate has agreed to help the FBI and confessed his crimes. So far nothing has emerged directly implicating Trump, but who can tell what will happen in the future.

What really transpired at the meeting is not known as reporters were barred from the meeting.

The President must, however, be given credit for putting forth the American view on free Trade And Commerce. He praised India, for liberalization of trade and commerce but had a harsh word for China for its trade practices.

Last word

Donald Trump has now reached Manila for the ASEAN conference. Here he will have a chance to interact with other world leaders and also meet president Rodrigo Duterte for the first time.

The Putin -Trump meeting will, however, continue to have significance and back home many will feel that Trump has an ax to grind by stating that he believed Putin on the Russian interference in the 2016 election.