Trump will meet one-on-one with Putin, ambassador confirms
06 July, 2018, 19:31 | Author: Myra Gill
U.S. Ambassador to RussiaJon Huntsman told the reporters here on Thursday that Washington will continue to hold Moscow "accountable" for its alleged "malign activities" despite the upcoming meeting between the two presidents.
Messrs. Trump and Putin are set to meet July 16 in Helsinki, Finland, for their first formal bilateral meeting.
Kay Bailey Hutchison, the US representative to NATO, said the major theme of the NATO summit would be the trans-Atlantic alliance's "strength and unity", despite repeated criticisms by Trump of alliance members who have yet to meet a commitment to boost their defense spending.
President Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other Russian officials have, on many occasions, stated that Russia is interested in good relations with the U.S., which are based on mutual respect, adding that all issue between Moscow and Washington should be settled behind the negotiation table.
The two will meet alone, before being joined by their advisers for an extended.
At the top of the Russian leader's agenda is getting Mr. Trump to ease sanctions on Russia and working out an endgame for the Syrian civil war, where Mr. Assad appears on the verge of winning the bloody seven-year civil war.
Mr. Huntsman said the president recognizes the challenge of dealing with Russian Federation, and that every president since the end of the Cold War has failed to improve the relationship.
The planned July 16 head-to-head between the USA and Russian leaders will follow a delicate North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.
Separately, U.S. Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters Thursday that the alliance is moving forward together, and "everyone has the same goal, and that is a strong deterrent and an alliance that is unified" against threats like Russian Federation and China.
Mr. Trump's political opponents in the US will be looking for any sign that the president goes easy on Mr. Putin, which they would say bolster allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Moscow to hack the 2016 presidential election.
He added that Trump hopes the meeting "can help reduce tensions and lead to constructive engagement that improves peace and security around the world because you can't solve problems if you're not talking about them", but said: "the ball really is in Russia's court".
"The President has determined that now is the time for direct communication between himself and President Putin and that it is in the interest of the United States. and that's the way he's proceeding", the official said.
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