In May, Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s speech outlining new, “invincible” weapons to overcome U.S. defenses raised tensions between Russia and the United States. Both countries have a lot to talk about on such topics as arms control. And because of this President Putin and President Trump recently met in Helsinki for private talks.

How did Russian students here react to the summit—which drew charges that President Trump was too accommodating to President Putin?

Alex Litovchenko 15, from Moscow:
What did you think of the meeting between Putin and Trump?
“The meeting was a waste of time.”
Do you think Putin got the best out of the meeting?
“No, no one gained anything. It was useless.”
Do you think Trump is stupid for defending Putin?
“I guess not, but Putin doesn’t need defending.”
Should Putin be invited to the White House?
“I don’t know if he should, but either way I don’t think he will end up coming to America. Even if he came, I feel like nothing would be solved or done.”
Teresa Gruber, 17, from Moscow. said she did not support the meeting because it undermined Trump’s relationship with Americans. She thought that Putin did not get the better end of the deal, because Trump says such “out there” statements that his statements are not all that reliable. Teresa also said Trump doesn’t make the wises choices so asking if he was stupid for defending Putin does not matter. Finally, when asked about Trump inviting Putin to the White House she had a very strong opinions. “Time will show what stronger Russia and United States relations bring,” she said. “It does not give Trump a lot of new supporters.”
Whatever the future of relations between the two superpowers, students at Exeter are enjoying each other’s company.