International media reports say Russian President Vladimir Putin paused a joint press conference after answering a question on whether the ball is “in the Russian court” regarding cooperative efforts in Syria to hand President Donald Trump a soccer ball in Helsinki yesterday.

“Speaking about having the ball in our court in Syria, President Trump has just mentioned that we’ve successfully concluded the World Football Cup. Speaking of the football, actually…” Putin said, stepping from his podium to retrieve a 2018 World Cup soccer ball. “Mr. President, I will give this ball to you, and now the ball is in your court.”

Putin noted that the United States will host the tournament in 2026 after passing the ball to Donald Trump.

 The reporter who asked the question on Syria referred specifically to the language used by Pompeo, who tweeted the night before, “A better relationship with the Russian government would benefit all, but the ball is in Russia’s court.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that the first meeting with his American counterpart Donald Trump was expected to be a "warm-up," but the talks turned out to be "very substantial."

"I must say that I had no special expectations since this is the first such a meaningful meeting, and, in my opinion, it was originally supposed to be a sort of a warm-up so that later on, in the course of our future contacts, we could speak more substantively," Putin said in an interview with Russia's Channel One television following talks with Trump in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.

"But it turned out quite differently, the talks were really very substantial, "Putin stressed. He added that the conversation with Trump "was, indeed, indeed, very friendly."

Vladimir Putin also said that Donald Trump is a very professional person, who is capable to listen to other people and understand their arguments, however, the US leader keeps his own opinion on many issues.

Moreover, Russian President said Monday he discussed during his meeting with US President in Helsinki all issues that had been prepared in advance by their aides.

The US initiative on the Iranian nuclear program should not lead to the destruction of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

"The Russian position remains unchanged regarding the Iranian nuclear program, and we believe that the JCPOA is an instrument that makes it possible to guarantee the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in general and in the region in particular," the president said.

Iran is one of the countries most extensively monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today, and it would be a shame if this tool ceased to exist, Vladimir Putin said.