White House Releases News of the Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Summit

trump in the oval office surrounded by his cabinet

Donald Trump Speaks With Russian Leader Vladimir Putin on the phone | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The American and global publics were shocked to see the historical first summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Now, White House officials released information that Trump plans to meet with Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.

Putin’s name made headlines consistently since the 2016 election’s outcome. Special Counsel Robert Mueller believed he had substantial evidence that Russia meddled in Trump’s surprising upset, while others believe the administration is jeopardizing European relations in an effort to focus on those with the Kremlin.

The U.S. national security adviser John Bolton visited Moscow

National security adviser John Bolton is scheduled to travel to Moscow the week of June 25 week to discuss a potential summit between the two leaders. CNN revealed that Bolton is in charge where matters of a potential Russia summit are involved. Putin reportedly told Bolton that his visit to Moscow gives the leader hope there is potential to improve badly strained relations between the U.S. and Russia.

“Russia has never sought confrontation, and I hope that we can talk today about what can be done by both sides to restore full-format relations on the basis of equality and respect,” Putin told reporters following his meeting with Bolton. Bolton told reporters he was eager to discuss improving U.S.-Russia relations. He called Trump “committed to the goal of global stability.”

Other Republican senators are scheduled to visit Russia this week, while Energy Secretary Rick Perry is expecting his Russian counterpart in Washington within the next few days.

They announced a July 16 summit

The White House announced yesterday that Trump and Putin will meet in Helsinki, Finland on July 16. The two will “discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues,” a White House official reported. The Kremlin said the pair would talk about the “prospects for the development of relations between the two countries and current international issues,” Russia’s state news agency Tass reported.

The public first got word a potential summit was on the horizon when Putin was reelected in March. Trump phoned Putin to congratulate him on the reelection to the presidency and said the two would meet soon.

Trump and Putin have met twice before on the sidelines of international summits. They’ve spoken at least eight times on the phone to date. Despite their commitment to a future summit, Russian officials have previously complained about how difficult it would be to set up such a meeting. Washington-Moscow relations have continued to deteriorate over the Syrian conflict and the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

 

Vladimir Putin

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin | Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images

Trump continues to support a relationship with Russia

While the president’s domestic critics analyze the potential impact of the meeting.

“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!” Trump wrote on Twitter this morning. He continued on, asking why other aspects of the election weren’t being analyzed. “Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn’t Hillary/Russia being looked at?”

Democrats, some Republicans, and domestic U.S. Allies have accused Trump of being soft on Russia. Trump made clear from the start of his campaign that he wanted to improve U.S.-Russia relations. The summit will take place four days after Trump meets leaders of U.S. military allies at the NATO meeting in Brussels. NATO members were reportedly concerned that if the Russia summit took place ahead of the NATO meeting, Trump might have made decisions the Allies would have to abide by.

Heather A. Conley, director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, confirmed the Allies concerns with the summit. “The difficulties before, during and after the G-7 summit raised the stakes enormously for the president’s visit to Brussels, the U.K. and potential U.S.-Russia Summit in Helsinki,” she said in a statement before the Trump-Putin summit was confirmed.

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