Trump plans to meet with Putin one-on-one, without aides

Pauline Gross
July 6, 2018

The U.S. ambassador to Russia confirmed Thursday that President Donald Trump will have a one-on-one meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland later this month.

The summint in Helsinki will be the first full-fledged meeting of the two leaders since Trump's taking office in January 2017.

President Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other Russian officials have, on many occasions, stated that Russia is interested in good relations with the USA, which are based on mutual respect, adding that all issue between Moscow and Washington should be settled behind the negotiation table.

"The president will continue to hold Russian Federation accountable for its malign activities", he said, describing the meeting as the first opportunity for an extended conversation about the topic, despite the fact that the two men have met multiple times and spoken at length on the sidelines of various summits, including a meeting that lasted more than two hours in Hamburg, Germany.

Senior administration officials said during a call with reporters Thursday Trump is going into the meeting with his "eyes wide open" to make sure Russian Federation is held accountable for hybrid warfare and aggression in Ukraine and Syria.

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"We're entering with our eyes wide open, but peace is always worth the effort", Huntsman said.

Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusion of the USA intelligence community that Russian Federation meddled in the election and has dismissed the investigation into potential collusion with members of his campaign as a "witch hunt" meant to delegitimize he presidency. Mr. Trump is also expected to press his argument that many North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies are still falling far short of their promises to increase defense spending to contribute to the collective defense.

Mrs. Hutchison and Mr. Huntsman briefed reports on the president's upcoming trip to Europe, which will also include a visit to the United Kingdom.

"You can't solve problems if you are not talking about them", said Huntsman.

Other reports by GizPress

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