It’s a date: Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are set to sit-down for their first official summit together next month.
According to the Kremlin, the meeting of the Russian and United States leaders will tackle a range of issues including “the poor state of our bilateral relations.”
Full details of the summit meeting will be announced on Thursday, a US official has told CNN. The official did not offer more details, but Helsinki, Finland, remained a leading site contender for the meeting expected to be held on the second half of next month.
The announcement follows a one-on-one meeting between the US national security adviser John Bolton and Putin at the Kremlin on Wednesday, where the two sides discussed the summit, nuclear arms control and other bilateral issues.
Sergey Lavrov has had a meeting with John Bolton, assistant to the US President for National Security Affairs pic.twitter.com/cg7c5pTLXt
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) June 27, 2018
Bolton, accompanied by the US ambassador to Moscow, Jon Huntsman, also met the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, the defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, and an adviser, Yuri Ushakov.
“I have to say with regret that Russian-American relations are not in the best shape,” Putin told Bolton, “and I’ve already said this repeatedly in public and am saying this to you now: I think that this is largely a result of the acute internal political struggle within the US itself.”
He added: “Your arrival in Moscow has given us hope that we can make the first steps to reviving full relations between our governments.”
Putin last met Trump during a controversial G20 in July 2017, where the pair had a discussion over dinner with only a Russian translator present.
Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted earlier by state news agency RIA Novosti as saying the official summit would take place in an as-yet-unnamed third country.
Peskov said the meeting could be “used as an opportunity to exchange opinions on major international problems — this list is quite clear and obvious — as well as the poor state of our bilateral relations.”
Trump will be in Europe in mid-July for a NATO meeting in Brussels and a working visit to the United Kingdom. Bolton is expected to hold a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday night to reveal further details on the summit.