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Kremlin aide reveals format of Putin-Trump summit

Negotiations will begin at 13:00
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. The Russian-US summit begins at 13:00 hours East European Summer Time [13:00 hours Moscow Standard Time, 10:00 hours GMT] on Monday, July 16, in Helsinki and it will be held in the Presidential Palace - Presidentinlinna, President Vladimir Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Friday.

"July 16, Helsinki, and the venue is the Presidential Palace," he said. "The itinerary says the summit starts at 13:00 hours."

Ushakov recalled that Trump would arrive in Helsinki on the eve the meeting and Putin, right on Monday.

"We don’t actually know how much time the discussion between the two Presidents will take up," he said. "We don’t have any restrictions on our part."

"It will kick off with a tete-a-tete conversation where only the interpreters will be present," Ushakov said. "After that, the Russian-US negotiations proper will begin and most probably they will have the format of a working breakfast, with some members of the delegations attending."

"After the negotiations, the Presidents are supposed to hold a news conference where each of them will make an address to the audience and will answer four questions - two questions from each side," he said, making a note that this is a standard format for news conferences of this kind.

He did not attach importance to the formalities of diplomatic protocol, which suggest that a hall where the sides hold top-level negotiations should be assigned to one of them.

"This problem [whose territory the talks will take place on] is the easiest one and it looks like neither Russian side nor American side bothers much about it," Ushakov said.

"Definite diplomatic efforts preceded the arrangements for the summit in Helsinki and they were made confidentially," he said. "The two sides reached the necessary agreements and have coordinated all the details about how this will take place. Everyone is satisfied with the arrangements."

Ushakov complained about media reports that claimed the demand for a tete-a-tete meeting as the starter for the summit had come from Trump.

"All of this has been coordinated and it falls in line with our interests and we’d also like this summit to kick off in exactly this format," he said.