Published: Thu, June 28, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin to Hold Summit, Kremlin Official Says


Presidential adviser Yuri Ushakov made the announcement after a meeting in Moscow between Putin and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday met with US President Donald Trump's national security adviser for talks meant to set the stage for a US-Russian summit.

"I can say that an agreement has been reached on holding the summit, even an agreement on the time and venue".

Trump is scheduled to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit meeting in Brussels on July 11 and 12, followed by a long-delayed visit to Britain, and could seemingly add another stop on the European trip to get together with Putin, perhaps in Helsinki.

Trump confirmed that Helsinki was a possible site. A senior USA official said on Tuesday that Finland's capital Helsinki was being considered as a location. His list did not include warnings from U.S. intelligence officials that Russian Federation will try to interfere in United States congressional elections in November.

The summit would be the first of its kind for the two leaders, though they have met twice.

Such a summit is likely to irritate US allies who want to isolate Putin, such as Britain, or who are concerned about Trump's attitude toward Russian Federation.

Austria previously offered to host a Trump-Putin summit in Vienna. "He didn't tell us when and where the Trump-Putin meeting will be, gave one-sentence answers besides for the final planted question & finally openly said 'I'll just duck that question, '" tweeted Telegraph correspondent Alec Luhn.

The summit will include one-on-one talks between the presidents and conclude with a joint news conference, Ushakov said. "Before the meeting [with Putin], contacts behind closed doors were held to agree the parameters and possibility of such a meeting [of the Russian and U.S. leaders]", he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was likely to meet his USA counterpart Mike Pompeo beforehand, he added.

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Bolton replied that he was looking forward to discussing "how to improve Russia-U.S. relations and find areas where we can agree and make progress together".

"Even in earlier days, when our countries had differences, our leaders and their advisers met", he said.

Trump congratulated Putin by phone in March after the Russian leader's landslide re-election victory.

Since then, already poor ties between Washington and Moscow have deteriorated further over the conflict in Syria and the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain which sparked big diplomatic expulsions in both countries.

"It was stated clearly by our side that the Russian state hasn't interfered with the US domestic politics, moreover hasn't interfered in the 2016 election", Ushakov said. Trump denies wrongdoing and calls the investigation a "witch hunt".

The adviser has decried claims of Russian meddling in the U.S. election in 2016 and accusations that Trump made it to the White House with Putin's help, calling them "complete nonsense".

Mr. Bolton said it was important to keep talking and complimented Mr. Putin on his handling of the football World Cup, now taking place in Russian Federation.

Greeting Bolton in the Kremlin, Putin noted that U.S. On Wednesday, Bolton refused to confirm reports about Trump's comments that Crimea must belong to Russia because people there speak Russian.

The conversation steered clear of the question of sanctions placed on Russian Federation by the United States. Subsequent sanctions have punished Moscow for what Washington has called its malign behaviour and alleged meddling in USA politics.

The news of this exchange was made all the more piquant by Mr Bolton's Daily Telegraph article previous year saying that Mr Putin had lied to Mr Trump about the election meddling, which Mr Bolton called an "act of war".

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