“This is the first meeting, the first encounter of the two presidents, this is the main thing in this meeting,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, commenting on the Kremlin’s expectations for the upcoming meeting between Putin and Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 7.
“[We have] expectations of establishing a working dialogue, which is probably vital for all the world in terms of improving efficiency in resolving a critical mass of conflicts and problems, which is growing day by day,” Peskov went on.
The Russian leader is preparing for the meeting with Trump the same way he is preparing for similar events at the G20, Peskov added. Putin will also meet French President Emmanuel Macron, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, among other world leaders during the two-day summit.
The conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and ways of resolving them are possibly among the other issues on the agenda during the first meeting between the two leaders, according to Peskov.
“I think that [the two leaders will discuss] the Syrian [conflict] resolution, the Astana process, and the issues of possible Russian-American cooperation,” Peskov said, adding that the joint fight against terrorism will be discussed if the US is ready for it. The presidents may also discuss the Syrian settlement.
As for the Ukrainian issue, the meeting will provide “a great opportunity to repeat the Russian position on the fact that there is no alternative to the Minsk agreements, the necessity to implement the agreements and taking measures to stop the provocations, which unfortunately occur from the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”
Despite the full format of the bilateral meeting, Peskov said that it will be time-limited, as it will take place in the framework of the G20 summit. The Russian president will not have an opportunity to fully express his understanding of the Ukrainian conflict and its reasons.
On Tuesday, both Moscow and Washington confirmed that Putin and Trump will hold their first full-fledged meeting at the G20 summit on July 7. The Kremlin pointed out that it will not merely be a brief contact on the sidelines, but “a full-fledged ‘sit down’ meeting.” Previously, the leaders spoke only by phone.
The Trump-Putin meeting is grabbing attention in light of souring Russian-American relations, which are currently “at the zero mark,” according to Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov. Moscow and Washington have been at loggerheads, especially after Trump’s order to launch launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria’s Shayrat Airbase near the city of Homs on April 7. The move was justified by Washington, accusing the Syrian government of carrying out a chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun, which killed dozens of people. Damascus has denied those allegations, while Moscow has repeatedly called for an international investigation into the incident to be conducted.
Russia ribs UK over Trident scandal after ‘ship of shame’ comment about carrier ‘Kuznetsov’
“The aim of such statements and of staging a show by escorting our ships, is to distract the British taxpayers from the real state in which the Royal Navy is,” Defense Minister Igor Konashenkov said.
“First, the Russian military fleet doesn’t need senseless escort services – they know their navigating channel and course,” the minister added.
“Second, we would recommend that [Defense Secretary Michael] Fallon pay more attention to the British Navy, all the more because there is every indication to believe he should do so,” Konashenkov concluded.
The latest statement from Moscow comes after the UK’s defense secretary called the Admiral Kuznetsov coming from Syria a “ship of shame,” while emphasizing that British Royal Air Force Typhoon jets and a Royal Navy frigate had escorted Russia’s only aircraft carrier.
The problem that the Russian Defense Ministry seemed to be referring to was a botched test-firing drill on a Trident nuclear submarine that declassified CIA documents revealed took place back in June, when a nuclear missile allegedly went off course near Florida and careened towards the US.
No news reports followed the test and the usual “successful test flight”statement was not made at that time. A navy source told the Sunday Times that “something went wrong” after the missile was fired.
Talking to the BBC on Sunday, UK premier Theresa May again refused to say whether she knew about the reported failure.
May didn’t mention the failed test to the MPs last July, reportedly to make sure they would not reject spending £40 billion ($50.3bn) on new Trident submarines.