Fresh from his summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, President Donald Trump is now planning a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in July. This will take place around the time of Trump’s planned trip to the UK and the NATO summit, according to two diplomatic sources familiar with the matter.
One diplomatic official said that the Trump administration wants the meeting in Washington but Moscow has insisted on neutral ground. The official added that Vienna is the likely location, but there has been no official announcement made as of yet.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that White House national security adviser John Bolton plans to visit Moscow, but the timing of the visit wasn’t immediately clear.
In a conference call with reporters, Peskov said the Kremlin was aware of Bolton’s plans.
“As far as we know, such a trip will take place,” Peskov said. “So far that’s all we can say.”
A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment both on the President’s plans for the meeting and also Bolton’s travel plans.
Bolton Has Taken the Reins
CNN did report last week the Moscow and Washington are “exploring” the possibility of a meeting between the two leaders. They also reported that Bolton has taken the reins when it comes to dealing with Moscow.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the potential meeting, calling dialog between the two leaders “important” and adding that a meeting “is not in any way contradicting NATO policies.”
“NATO is in favor of dialog, and if you want dialog, you have to speak to the political leaders,” Stoltenberg said.
The meeting between these two men is sure to draw fire from the media who believe Trump should remain distant from Putin. They believe he can not be trusted and does not deserve the spotlight of a face to face with an American president.