Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump will have only a brief meeting in Paris, while their substantive talks are expected to take place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov said.
According to him, an initial agreement on talks between the two countries’ presidents was reached during US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s recent visit to Moscow. It "sparked great interest in the global political and media circles," TASS reported.
However, following reports about plans for a Paris meeting between the two presidents, France voiced concern that such a meeting would distract public attention from the Paris events marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice. "That said, both Washington and Moscow decided to refrain from holding substantive talks between the two presidents and arrange such talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires," Ushakov said, adding that while in Paris, Putin and Trump would have only a brief meeting during a working lunch at the Elysee Palace.
"Preparations for a Buenos Aires meeting are underway, we continue consultations with the US, discussing the time and place for the meeting. We will clearly need to hold consultations on the meeting’s agenda as well," the Russian presidential aide added.
Ushakov also said that the Putin-Trump meeting in Argentina would involve both countries’ delegations but no documents were planned to be signed.
According to Ushakov, during Bolton’s visit to Russia, a possibility of arranging "a series of contacts" between the two presidents was discussed. "Besides, there were consultations on the exchange of visits to Moscow and Washington but no specific details were discussed," the Kremlin aide noted.
When asked when such visits might take place, he said that Trump had many times reiterated his wish to welcome the Russian president in Washington in early 2019. "But there have been no specific consultations on the matter yet, as the focus currently is on a brief meeting in Paris and a substantive one in Buenos Aires," the Russian presidential aide stressed.