Both President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be attending the G20 summit in Germany in July, and discussions are currently underway about how to arrange a meeting between the two.
According to the Associated Press, Trump has requested a full-blown meeting with media access and all the bells and whistles, while some officials within the State Department and National Security Council are wanting it toned down considerably.
Instead, advisers have suggested a brief meeting between Trump and Putin should be held “on the sidelines” of the summit, as they reportedly feel the U.S. needs to distance itself from Russia during this “sensitive” time, while Trump is still eager to establish a relationship with Russia.
Two factors have made advisers hesitant about the meeting – the fear that Trump will go “off-script”, and the belief that Putin himself is not to be trusted.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed Monday that there will definitely be a chance for the two to meet at the summit, but added that no details of the meeting have been established yet.
Nina Khrushcheva, a Russian affairs professor at the New School, said Trump is in an “impossible position.”
“He can’t be too nice to Putin because it’s going to be interpreted in a way that suggests he has a special relationship with Russia,” she said. “He can’t be too mean because Putin has long arms and KGB thinking. So Trump needs to have a good relationship with him but he also needs to fulfill his campaign promises of establishing better relations with Russia.”
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