National security adviser John Bolton is in Moscow today and has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin with the intention of arranging a meeting between Putin and President Trump.
A foreign adviser to Putin has announced that an agreement has been reached on plans for summit between Putin and President Trump, the AP reports.
Presidential adviser Yuri Ushakov made the announcement after a meeting in Moscow between Putin and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton. The time, venue and other details of the summit will be announced jointly by the Kremlin and the White House on Thursday, Ushakov said.
He said the summit would take place in a third country, but did not name it as part of the plan for a joint declaration with Washington.
Ushakov characterized today’s meeting between Bolton and Putin as “constructive and business-like” and described the topics discussed, according to the AP.
The discussions touched on the state of bilateral ties, nuclear arms control, the situation in Syria, the Ukrainian crisis, developments around North Korea and the U.S. exit from the Iranian nuclear deal — topics Ushakov said would shape the summit agenda.
He said the issue of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was raised during the talks, and reaffirmed the Kremlin denial of any interference with the vote. Ushakov said U.S. sanctions on Russia were not discussed.
CNN reports that the joint announcement regarding the location and date of the summit will come on Thursday.
Details of a summit meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be announced on Thursday, a US official has told CNN. This official would not offer more details, but Helsinki, Finland, remains a leading site contender for the two leaders’ meeting.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also told CNN Wednesday that Washington and Moscow will jointly announce Thursday the time and place for a planned summit.
President Trump will be in Brussels in mid-July for the NATO summit and the meeting between the US and Russian presidents is expected to take place then. CNN reports that sources gave July 10 as a possible date, ahead of Trump’s other stops in Europe, a time line which has allies concerned.
NATO members have pressed for the Putin meeting to occur after the NATO summit, one White House official said, citing concerns Trump might agree to something with Putin that they are then forced to go along with.
The prospect of a meeting with Putin, which Trump first raised during a congratulatory phone call in March, has sent ripples of consternation through European capitals. Some leaders fear a campaign to isolate Moscow for its destabilizing activities could be quickly undone by an eager-to-please Trump.
“It’s the uncertainty,” one western official said in explaining European concerns at a Trump-Putin meeting. “No one knows what he’ll walk out saying.”
⊕ Russia is hosting the World Cup final on July 15, which limits Putin’s availability.
⊕ Helsinki and Vienna have been suggested as possible host cities for a Russia/ US summit, but Ushakov has said the summit would take place elsewhere.
⊕ President Trump initially invited Putin to the White House in his congratulatory phone call in March, but the Kremlin has asked to meet in a third country.
- President Trump declared Russia should be invited back into the group of seven.
- He got into a Twitter fight with his French and Canadian counterparts prior to the summit.
- He arrived late to meetings and left early.
- He reportedly threw candy at German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
⊕ Ushakov stated that the summit between the two presidents would be “this summer’s most important international event.”