MOSCOW, July 25. /TASS/. The US has suggested hosting a new meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump in Washington at the end of the year, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters, adding that the parties had not yet started preparations for a new summit.
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According to him, the two leaders agreed at their Helsinki summit that it was important to maintain bilateral contacts. "There was no discussion of future contacts at the Helsinki meeting but several days later the United States suggested hosting the next summit in Washington at the end of the year," the Russian presidential aide said. "The offer was conveyed by US National Security Adviser John Bolton. Trump also touched upon this matter in his statements. As for practical steps to prepare the meeting, work hasn’t started yet," Ushakov added.
At the same time, he did not rule out that Putin and Trump may meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina and other international forums. "There are also other options that our leaders may consider, which include the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Putin and Trump may also meet at other international forums they will participate in, such possibilities will surely be discussed," he said.
The Kremlin aide declined to answer some questions concerning the Helsinki summit, including the question as to how persistent Trump was in raising the issue of Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election. "I would like to refrain from commenting on that because it is too heated an issue so any comment is sure to spark negative reaction," he said. "You know what the situation surrounding the meeting’s outcome is like in America so we need to wait for things to settle down and then we will be able to discuss these matters in a business-like manner," he added.
Russian officials to meet with Bolton
Ushakov confirmed that a meeting between members of the Russian Security Council and US National Security Adviser John Bolton was planned to take place in August. "There was news that Bolton was ready to meet with Russian officials… to continue discussing the outcome of the Helsinki summit and consider the prospects for future cooperation in a number of fields," the Kremlin aide said. When asked if the meeting would involve Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Ushakov said that it apparently would. "I don’t know there the meeting will be held, it hasn’t been confirmed yet," he added.
The first full-fledged talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump took place in Finland’s capital of Helsinki on July 16. The one-on-one meeting between Putin and Trump lasted for more than two hours. Later, both delegation members joined the presidents for a larger working lunch. The expanded session also lasted for roughly two hours, with the talks covering crucial bilateral and global issues. Both presidents said after the summit that a big step forward had been taken.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said later that Trump had instructed National Security Adviser John Bolton to send an invitation to the Russian leader to visit Washington in the fall.