The meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and us leader Donald trump will take place on 16 July in Helsinki, reported in the Kremlin. The sides will discuss the state and prospects of development of relations between the two countries and topical international issues. TASS recalls what the outcome of previous talks between Putin and trump, and explains what to expect from the upcoming meeting.
First meeting: specific agreements
Putin and the tramp took place on the 7th July 2017 at the summit of the group of 20 in Hamburg. It took place against the backdrop of worsening U.S.-Russian relations that began under the previous administration of Barack Obama in 2014, and the ongoing investigation in the USA attributed to Russia’s interference in the presidential election of 2016.
The talks between the leaders, which was also attended by the Minister of foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and former U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson, lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes (instead of the planned 30-45 minutes). 40 minutes, as approved, was devoted to “intervention in election”. According to Putin, trump has taken note of the arguments that no intervention was, and “probably agreed with them.”
Attention was also paid to the situation in Syria and Ukraine, the Korean nuclear issue, terrorism, the subject of cybersecurity. According to some of these questions failed to reach concrete agreements. So, it was announced the ceasefire in the zone of de-escalation in the South-West of Syria, while the US and Russia has committed itself to enforce the ceasefire. In addition, the presidents agreed to create a bilateral channel of communication between the representatives of the Russian Federation and the United States to promote settlement in Ukraine, on creation of a special bilateral working group on cybersecurity issues, as well as simplifying the process of appointing new ambassadors.
Journalists covering the negotiations, agreed that the leaders of Russia and the US have found common language. According to Tillerson, “among them developed a positive chemistry.”
Second meeting: “on his feet”
Trump and Putin met again on 10 November, 2017 at the summit of the Asia-Pacific economic cooperation (APEC) in Danang. A good conversation took place, the leaders of the two countries only took pictures and shook hands. At the official dinner, trump and Putin followed separately. 11 Nov they still turned briefly to chat on the way to a photography session of the APEC economic leaders.
From the very beginning around this meeting, there was a lot of uncertainty. The President of the United States that can intersect with his Russian counterpart, 3 Nov. The day before the start of the summit the assistant to the Russian President Yuri Ushakov told the date of the meeting — 10 Nov. But then he said that the conversation trump and Putin may be held up because of the American side “conflicting signals”.
At the final press conference, Putin explained the failure of full negotiations of Protocol complexities. “As for separate meetings with Mr. trump, first, this was due to the work schedule of Mr. trump with my schedule. And with certain formalities of Protocol, with whom our teams, unfortunately, could not cope,” — said the Russian head of state. “Well, to be punished for it,” he added with a smile.
According to Putin, “nothing terrible happened” and “everything I wanted, we discussed”. “Unfortunately, little time is not yet possible to talk in more detail on the whole range of our relations, and there is something to talk about and in the sphere of security and economic cooperation that we have virtually zero today,” — said Putin.
“So we definitely need to find a way and our teams, and at the presidential level to sit down and discuss the full range of our relations”, — concluded the Russian leader.
Third meeting: how to prepare and what to expect
In subsequent months, no concrete steps for the organization of the summit was not taken, and, as pointed out by Ushakov, “the question hung in the air.” In an interview with the Austrian broadcasting company ORF Putin did not give a direct answer to the question of why there is such a situation. “It is necessary to ask our colleagues from the United States,’ he answered. In my opinion, this is a consequence of the political struggle in the United States.”
However, after the APEC summit, trump and Putin several times talked on the phone three times in 2017 (21 November, 15 December and 17 December) and twice in 2018 (12 Feb, 20 Mar). During a recent interview, discussed the question of organizing a possible meeting. Moreover, the spring in the White house that trump still wants to hold a summit with Putin, although the final plans for this.
On CNN, trump asked the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, how it is better to interact with the head of the Russian state. Channel sources claim that the conversation trump’s and Merkel’s places was intense and it is unclear what the Council could give the US President the Chancellor of Germany. “Officials were given to understand that the President at times actually, as it seemed, did not listen to the answers,” said CNN.
The WSJ writes that the preparations for the summit came from the US Ambassador to Russia John huntsman. “Ambassador huntsman for a long time — several months — working on this project: organization of the meeting of Putin and trump,” — said the newspaper’s sources. According to them, the focus of the summit is likely to be Syria, Ukraine and the issues of nuclear arms control. During the meeting, Washington intends to negotiate, and to negotiate with Russia regarding the “concrete things”, said the source WSJ.
According to the Vice-President of the USA Michael Pence, topics for discussion will be “economic relations with the US and Russia and countries of the world”, as well as interference in American elections. Advisor to the President for national security John Bolton, who visited Moscow to prepare for the meeting, I am convinced that the agenda of the upcoming summit will also be the return of Russia in the G8.
Among the topics of mutual interest for Russia and the United States, the experts also identified under the Agreement on measures for the further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms (start-III). “Mutual extension of the contract would be easy, but significant victory and, quite possibly, would lay the Foundation for more comprehensive negotiations on arms control in the future,” researcher analytical organization Defence Priorities Daniel Depetris. The analyst also stated that it is important for both sides topics include the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The prospects for the upcoming summit of the misty, specifies the Director of the Institute of USA and Canada (ISK) Russian Academy of Sciences Valery Garbuzov. “From Putin’s meeting with trump, even if it takes place, it is hardly possible to expect any breakthroughs. To what extent such a meeting is pointless — they are just meeting, Vladimir Putin once again convinced that Donald trump wants to change something in relations with Russia, but has nothing to do, he said. — I don’t think this meeting will end with signing of some agreements”.
However, the fact of carrying out full-scale the summit will be an important event, said program Director of the discussion club “Valdai” Ivan Timofeev. “Such summits were not held for a long time. And given what was a negative background around the relationship of trump and of Russia in General and between countries, it is certainly a step forward. The leaders still hold detailed bilateral meeting that is not on the sidelines, not part of some other event,” — said the expert.
According to the press Secretary of Russian President Dmitry Peskov, in a recent telephone conversation, Putin and trump discussed that Vienna may be one of the cities to conduct their bilateral meeting. The White house also Austria likely venue for the summit. The WSJ sources say that during a meeting with Federal Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurtz, the Russian President allegedly spoke about the possibility of organizing a summit in Vienna this summer. According to the newspaper, Kurtz told the Russian leader that will be in contact with trump on this issue. Later the White house confirmed to TASS that Vienna brought to the attention of the American administration, its willingness to become a platform for the summit.
About the opportunities make the summit in an interview with TASS said the Minister for Europe, integration and foreign Affairs of Austria Karin Kneissl. According to her, the normalization of relations between Russia and the United States will help you to solve a number of regional and global issues, and Vienna is best suited for the role of a platform for dialogue at the highest level. The Minister recalled the meeting in Vienna in 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy and President of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Nikita Khrushchev, as well as the signing of the Treaty on the limitation of strategic arms (salt-2) Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev in 1979, which occurred in the Austrian capital.
However, ahead of the visit of Bolton appeared in the media that the meeting between Putin and trump will take place in Vienna and in Helsinki. The US President also suggested that negotiations could be held after the NATO summit, possibly in the capital of Finland. “Perhaps we’ll meet during my trip to Europe”, — he said on June 27. The next day the Kremlin officially confirmed that the meeting between Putin and trump will be held in Helsinki on 16 July.
As previously stated to journalists by the assistant to the Russian leader Yury Ushakov, selected the venue of the summit is very convenient for both parties. He added that he expected the meeting will last several hours are planned for the Protocol part, the presidents tête-à – tête and a joint press conference. Ushakov suggested that Putin and trump at the summit can adopt a joint statement, “which would outline further steps the two sides in terms of improving bilateral relations and joint action in the international arena, and in terms of ensuring international stability and security.”
According to the respondents TASS experts Finland was one of the few European countries with neutral attitudes in relation to Russia, and the United States. And the final choice of Helsinki as the seat of the Russian-American summit could define a symbolic value of the city for relations between the two countries, because here in 1975 was signed the Final act of the conference on security and cooperation in Europe.