In a press conference on Saturday, Russian Presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, suggested that Vienna would be a suitable host location for a bilateral summit between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, TASS, Russian state news reports.
“Various cities, which can be suitable for a meeting between the two presidents, are often considered. You know that the two presidents discussed the need for such a meeting during their latest telephone conversation, including that Vienna could be such a city,” Peskov told reporters.
He went on to point out that plans are in a preliminary stage and no specific agreements have been made at this time. A Russia/ US summit would be the third meeting between the two leaders.
- The meeting is a special project of US Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman.
- The invitation was extended on a call between the two leaders in March, with Donald Trump telling reports the two would “meet soon” to discuss the arms race and the importance of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
- In that same March phone call, Trump congratulated Putin on his winning the recent Russian election. After the President told reporters about congratulating Putin, it was leaked that he had done so against the express advice of his National Security advisers.
- The first meeting between the US and Russian presidents was in July at the G20 summit in Germany. The second was at an economic summit in Vietnam in November.
- President Trump called this weekend for Russia to be invited back into the G7. Russia remains defiant after it was kicked out of the G8 after it invaded the Ukraine and annexed Crimea in 2014.
- Plans for a bilateral meeting come at a time of increasing tension between the two countries.
- Russian diplomats were expelled from the US after the British government accused Russia of poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal with the nerve agent novichok in Salisbury.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report in May supporting the findings of the intelligence community that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of Donald Trump.
- The FBI recently seized a Russian botnet that was being used to instruct malware to infect 500,000 routers.
- The US has been critical of Russian support of Assad’s regime in Syria.