WASHINGTON, March 30. /TASS/. Specific dates for a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump have not been discussed yet, Michael Anton, Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications on the United States National Security told TASS on Thursday.
When asked to comment on the idea to arrange the two presidents’ meeting at the upcoming Arctic nations summit in Finland, Anton said that "we have not begun to discuss with the Russian government specific dates for a summit." "The two leaders will see each other at the G-20 Summit in July, but it is possible they may see each other before then," he added.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was ready to meet with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the Arctic nations summit in Finland, but the event should be well-prepared.
"Finland, in my view, is a very convenient country, and Helsinki is a very suitable platform for organizing such events," Putin told the international Arctic forum in Russia’s city of Arkhangelsk, answering a question if he could meet with Trump at the summit.
The Russian leader stressed that such events should be very well-prepared "by both sides." "If this happens, we will be glad to participate and I will be glad to take part in this event," he said. "If not, I think such a meeting [with the US president] may be held as part of ordinary meetings of this kind at the G20 summit [due in Germany in July]," he said.
Putin said Finland was a very good neighbor of Russia "which has a very good experience in organizing landmark events of this kind." The president pointed out that the Helsinki Final Act had been signed in Finland in 1975. The document, also known as the Helsinki Accords, was agreed in an effort to improve relations between the Communist bloc and the West.
Speaking at the Arkhangelsk forum, Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto suggested convening an Arctic nations summit to discuss issues facing the region. Answering a question on the possibility of a meeting between the Russian and US presidents on the sidelines of the event, Niinisto said Finland "would be very glad to hold such a summit." "But for holding the summit, there is the need to have something to say," he added.
The Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental forum set up in 1996, consists of Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States. In May, the US will hand the Arctic Council chairmanship to Finland.