Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with his US counterpart Donald Trump on July 7 at the G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg, the Kremlin reported Tuesday. “We agreed on July 7,” said Yuri Ushakov, a Kremlin adviser on international affairs.
The Kremlin and the White House have been negotiating the meeting between the two leaders almost since Trump took office earlier in the year -20 January – although from the outset it was suggested that it would be during the G20. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed his confidence that the meeting will shed light on the “prospects for cooperation” between the two countries. “We see the concern of most countries in the world about the current abnormal state of these relations, which have become hostage to the internal political struggle in the United States,” he said.
Senior US official Thomas Shannon met with Russia’s US ambassador Sergéi Kisliak yesterday to unblock the bilateral dialogue and ease the tension ahead of the expected meeting between Putin and Trump. Shannon had to cancel last week his trip to Russia after Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Riabkov canceled the meeting after new sanctions imposed by Washington over the conflict in Ukraine. In addition, Russia ceased cooperation with the United States, reached in the memorandum to avoid incidents in Syria’s airspace, after a US fighter knocked down a Russian-made Syrian aircraft in mid-July.
The White House has said there is no “formal agenda” for the meeting, although the US president wants to promote “areas of cooperation” with the Kremlin on issues such as the threat of North Korea, Syria or the campaign against Daesh. Trump’s advisers have not wanted to clarify whether he will talk to Putin about investigations into alleged Russian interference in last November’s US election and possible connections between his campaign and the Kremlin.