WASHINGTON, July 8. /TASS/. Austria has informed the United States that it was ready to host a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump, a source in the National Security Council at the White House told TASS.
"The Austrians have conveyed their willingness to host a meeting between President Trump and President Putin. And, although the two leaders have previously discussed the possibility of arranging a meeting, we have nothing to announce at this time," the source said.
Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal reported citing an unnamed European official, that Putin raised the possibility of holding such a meeting in Vienna this summer during his visit to Austria earlier this month. According to the paper, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told the Russian leader he would forward the initiative to Trump.
The Russian and Austrian leaders did not mention the issue when they talked to reporters after the meeting.
According to Wall Street Journal sources, the Russian side would like to meet on a neutral territory. According to the paper, Putin is looking into the possibility to meet with Trump in July, during the US president’s European tour to attend the NATO summit in Brussels and pay a visit to the United Kingdom.
The paper added that Kurz is set to discuss the issue with the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, in Berlin next week.
On March 20, Putin and Trump held a telephone conversation and agreed to hand down instructions to start preparations for a Russia-US summit. Moreover, later news broke that Trump had not only mentioned the possibility of a meeting but also invited Putin to Washington. On June 4, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov said no particular preparations for the meeting were underway at the moment, and the issue was "up in the air."