Trump Putin Summit: the sequel planned for US autumn

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin could meet again as early as September. Photo courtesy of kremin.ru

Here we go again: another summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin could be held as soon as September.

The President of the United States has extended an invitation to the Russian head for an autumn meeting at the White House following their controversial meeting in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.

That meeting was either “treasonous” or “successful” depending on who is asked, but there’s no doubt the first official summit, which included a two-hour private meeting between the leaders and their translators, had wide-ranging geopolitical implications.

White House Press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted on Thursday that plans for a follow-up were already underway: “In Helsinki, [The President] agreed to ongoing working level dialogue between the two security council staffs. President Trump asked [National Security Adviser John Bolton] to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway.”

The Russian government quickly signaled its interest in another meet, although Moscow diplomats were open in their surprise to the reception of the Helsinki summit. Russia’s ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said the response to Trump’s performance had been surprisingly negative in the aftermath of the meeting, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“We expected a mixed reaction in Washington to the results of the summit, but I myself didn’t expect this harsh rejection of everything that the presidents discussed,” Antonov said at an event in Moscow. “The task is not to multiply summits, the task is to substantively prepare, find shared understandings of solutions and lower tensions and move forward,” he added.

Trump fueled international debate in Monday’s meet after his seeming dismissal of US intelligence on the subject of Russian meddling in the previous election. “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump said. These comments directly conflicted with an assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released last year.

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