April 11, 2018 / 11:56 AM / 13 days ago

Trump says U.S. could help Russian economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the U.S. could aid Russia’s economy and sought an end to what he called an “arms race,” lamenting that relations with Moscow had reached an all-time low.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump in a post on Twitter warned Russia that missiles “will be coming” in Syria following a suspected chemical attack and chided Russian President Vladimir Putin for being “partners” with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Trump, in another tweet less than an hour later, said the U.S.-Russia relationship is “worse now than it has ever been ... There is no reason for this” and urged cooperation, just days after the United States imposed major sanctions on a number of Putin’s allies.

“Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?” Trump wrote.

It was not immediately clear what economic steps the president was referring to, and representatives for the White House did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Trump’s tweets come amid Washington’s strained relations with Moscow in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which U.S. intelligence agencies said was targeted by Russia. Moscow has denied any interference, and Trump has denied any collusion.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky

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