A senior Russian official has revealed a date and time have been set for the two leaders to meet.
The meeting will be the first official summit of Trump and Putin. It will take place in a third country and may follow the NATO meeting scheduled for 11-12 July.
Yuri Ushakov, a Russian Diplomat, told reporters that the date and location of the meeting will be announced on Thursday 28 June 2018.
“This meeting has been planned for a long time,” Ushakov said. “It has enormous importance for Russia and America, but it (also) has huge importance for the whole international situation. I think it will be the main international event of the summer.”
Trump suggested Helsinki or Vienna may be venues for the meeting.
WATCH: Russian President Putin and National Security Adviser John Bolton have met for the first time — and decided on a venue for a Trump-Putin summit https://t.co/u6F5YNI63G pic.twitter.com/CIvJefRXwP
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 27, 2018
Meeting planned during Bolton’s summit with Putin
The two leaders have agreed to meet after John Bolton, the US National Security Advisor, met Putin in the Kremlin.
Critics said the Bolton-Trump meeting showed the Trump administration was getting too close to the authoritarian Putin regime which is still being investigated for its role in the 2016 presidential campaign. The pair reportedly discussed nuclear arms control and the upcoming summit between the two leaders.
European leaders are reportedly already concerned the upcoming summit will undermine NATO’s attempts to curb Russian military aggression.
Bolton acknowledged the criticisms but said forging a relationship with Russia was the right thing to do.
Allies fear the Trump-Putin summit will be a disaster https://t.co/gXBLP9QuYx
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) June 27, 2018
“A lot of people have said or implied over time that a meeting between President Trump and President Putin would somehow prove some nexus between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, which is complete nonsense,” Bolton said.
“The president recognises there may be some criticism of this decision to have the meeting…But what must guide his conduct of American foreign policy is the pursuit of American national interests. And he judges — correctly in my view — that this bilateral summit between himself and President Putin is something he needs to do and will do, regardless of political criticism at home.”
Bolton himself had previously condemned Russia’s involvement in the 2016 US Presidential election as an “act of war” and said that any policy based on trusting Russia was “doomed to failure”.
Trump has been at odds with leaders of other developed nations in his desire to bring Russia back into the G7 summit.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 27, 2018
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday evening, Bolton defended the meeting, saying: “I don’t think it’s unusual for the leaders of Russia and the US to meet,” he said.
What will the US and Russian leaders discuss?
“I think we’ll be talking about Syria,” Trump told reporters at the White House on 27 June 2018. “I think we’ll be talking about Ukraine. I think we’ll be talking about many other subjects.
“Maybe something positive will come out of it. I’ve said from day one, getting along with Russia and with China and with everybody is a very good thing. It’s good for the world. It’s good for us. It’s good for everybody.”
Republican senator Mike Pompeo said Trump would raise Russia’s role in the 2016 US election. “I’m confident that when the president meets with Vladimir Putin he will make clear that meddling in our elections is completely unacceptable,” Pompeo said during a Senate subcommittee hearing.
Bolton also said the pair may discuss Russia’s possible readmission to the G7.
Earlier this year, Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.