Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with US President Donald Trump in Buenos Aires on December 1 to discuss bilateral relations, disarmament, ensuring global stability and regional issues, including the Kerch Strait incident, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters.
"On December 1, Saturday, this day will begin with a morning breakfast with [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel and then bilateral [meetings], including talks with Trump," TASS quoted Ushakov as saying.
According to Ushakov, despite various signals coming from Washington, "this meeting is equally important for both sides." "It is certainly vital from the viewpoint of further developments in the world," he stressed.
The upcoming meeting has been prepared with "the use of ordinary communications channels between the two administrations." "That’s why if any additional considerations in this context emerge, we think that we will be informed about these considerations through the above-mentioned channels, rather than mass media," he said, commenting on Donald Trump’s interview with US media that the November 25 Kerch Strait incident may serve as a reason for canceling the meeting in Buenos Aires.
Three Ukrainian warships violated the rules of passage through Russia’s territorial sea when heading from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov on Sunday. Despite the repeated warnings and demands to stop, the Ukrainian vessels continued their way, forcing Russia to use weapons. All three Ukrainian ships were detained and taken to Kerch. Three Ukrainian servicemen were slightly wounded and received medical assistance, and their lives are not under threat.
Format of talks
Speaking on the format of the upcoming contact, Ushakov noted that this will be a one-on-one meeting, and then key members of both delegations will join the dialogue. "The talks, its content and duration fully depend on the leaders, they will choose the key issues for discussion," the presidential aide said. "As for us, we consider that the talks in Buenos Aires will be a follow-up to the Helsinki talks."
During the talks, Putin and Trump are expected to discuss three groups of issues, Ushakov said. "First, this is certainly, the issues of ensuring strategic stability and disarmament dossier," he said, stressing that this aspect is vital given the US plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. According to Ushakov, "it’s of vital importance not to allow disturbing the balance of international security and the uncontrolled and senseless arms race."
Washington has received Russia’s proposals on building dialogue in arms control, the Kremlin aide said. "We believe that in a situation when the Americans have withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and signals that they will stop their participation in the INF Treaty, certainly, it is very important to discuss together the options of a renewed system of ensuring international security," he emphasized.
The Russian and US leaders may also discuss regional governance and anti-terror fight. Ushakov stressed that the two countries have common ground on these issues. "We are sure that the presidents will hash over the Syrian conflict, the Iranian nuclear program, the Korean issue," he said, not ruling out that the Kerch Strait incident may be also discussed.
The third issue on the agenda will be the relations between Moscow and Washington, and "what both sides need to do to lead these relations out of the deadlock and start looking for ways to normalize them." According to the Kremlin aide, there is enough time to discuss all these issues. "But the presidents will use the time as they like and the duration of the talks depends on its nature."