Russian-Americans in Brooklyn hopeful after Trump-Putin summit

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BRIGHTON BEACH -

Russian-Americans in Brooklyn say they are hopeful that Monday's meeting between President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will lead to a better relationship between the two countries.

Russian community activist and former New York State Assembly candidate Malka Shahar says the meeting left her feeling optimistic.

"I'm really proud of my President Trump, and I feel like he's a hero,” she said. “It costs him a lot of nerves -- a lot of pressure -- to meet with such a president as Putin, because he's not such a good guy.”

Other Russian-Americans in the city say they believe the two leaders will have more meetings in the future, and there will be progress in Russian-American relations.

The president said the summit was a first step building a bridge between the United States and Russia.

"Today's meeting is only the beginning of a longer process, but we have taken the first steps toward a brighter future and one with a strong dialogue and a lot of thought,” Trump said.

Relations between the United States and Russia deteriorated rapidly when Russia invaded Crimea a few years ago.

Many Russian-Americans say it’s important for global peace for the two countries’ relationship to improve. They say they are not in support of Putin and would like to see more democracy in Russia.

The Helsinki summit comes after the continuing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Activists in the Russian community say they believe that their home country definitely have political interests in America, but they are not blaming President Trump for that.

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