Moscow: Russia’s Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump will meet in a third country for their first official summit, which has been sought out for some time by the two leaders to attempt to mend the badly strained bilateral relations, senior officials of both governments said here on Wednesday. Confirmation of the summit came after a two-hour meeting between Putin and visiting US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Efe reported.
“I can say that an agreement has been reached on holding the summit, even an agreement on the date and venue,” Putin aide Yuri Ushakov said, adding that a “very convenient place for us and the American side has been selected in a third country.”
The time and place of this summit will be announced tomorrow simultaneously by the Kremlin and the White House, Bolton told reporters after his meeting with Putin. The two countries have disagreed on a variety of issues, including the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and nuclear disarmament, to the point that relations between the US and Russia are at their worst moment since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Welcoming Bolton to the Kremlin, Putin acknowledged that ties between Moscow and Washington were “not in the best shape” and apportioned some of the blame to “the internal political struggle” in the US. “Russia has never sought confrontation, and I hope that we can talk today about what can be done by both sides to restore full-format relations on the basis of equality and respect,” Putin said.
Maintaining bilateral communications during previous low points was “good for both countries, good for stability in the world,” Bolton said. “President Trump feels very strongly on that subject,” the White House aide said.
According to the British press, the White House seeks to schedule the Trump-Putin meeting for before the July 11-12 NATO summit in Brussels or immediately after the US president’s visit to the United Kingdom, set to take place on July 13. Putin and Trump met for the first time on July 2017 during the G20 summit in Germany.