US President Donald Trump has today met Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time and exchanged a handshake as they arrived for the G20 summit in Germany, according to AFP. The Kremlin reported that the two leaders met shortly after entering the summit. “They shook hands and said they will meet separately and see each other soon,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by AFP.
US President Donald Trump tweeted, “I look forward to all meetings today with world leaders, including my meeting with Vladimir Putin. Much to discuss.” Peskov replied in “affirmative”, when asked if Putin felt the same about the talks, according to AFP.
Putin and Trump will meet again later this afternoon for an hour-long meeting on the sidelines of the summit to discuss a number of issues, according to telegraph.co.uk. Both the leaders are expected to discuss a series of troubling foreign policy issues, including the conflict in Syria and Russia’s provocations in Ukraine. At a news conference in Poland, he refused to accept the conclusion by multiple US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered to try to help him win last November, telegraph.co.uk further said in its report.
Trump, during a speech in Warsaw on Thursday, urged Russia to “cease its destabilising activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes — including Syria and Iran — and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilisation itself, ” StarTribune reported.
Allegations of collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government hang over the much-anticipated meeting between the two leaders. These accusations, which Trump calls “fake news,” are being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller as well as House and Senate intelligence committees, a report from NBC NEWS said.
US intelligence agencies have concluded that Putin ordered the campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election and that he wanted Trump to win, something Russia has repeatedly and vehemently denied, the report further added.