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Russia confirms Trump-Putin meeting at G-20 on Saturday

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump meet at the 2017 G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. ( Commons)
November 29, 2018

A document from the Kremlin has revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump will be meeting this weekend at G20.

The document, obtained by Reuters on Thursday, shows that the two leaders will meet on Dec. 1 at 14:30 GMT during the upcoming G20 in Argentina.

The two leaders will reportedly discuss overcoming stalled relations, as well as stabilization plans for Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov spoke at a press briefing during which he said the White House issued confirmation of attending the meeting, CNN reported.

“First of all, questions related to bilateral relations, we need to think about how to start talking on matters of bilateral relations, on matters of strategic security and disarmament and on regional conflicts,” Peskov said, describing the meeting’s planned outline.

“We don’t have to agree on all issues, which is probably impossible, but we need to talk. It’s in the interests of not only our two countries, it’s in the interests of the whole world,” he added.

Peskov also noted that the meeting would consist of “a brief conversation between the presidents, as we expect, and then negotiations, which can last about an hour,” noting that their schedules were “quite tight.”

The meeting will be the first between the two leaders since July when they met in Helsinki, Finland for a two-hour private discussion that included only their translators.

Earlier this week, Trump indicated to reporters that he could potentially cancel the meeting as a result of Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine on Sunday, and their subsequent capture of Ukrainian sailors.

“That will be very determinative,” Trump said. “Maybe I won’t even have the meeting … I don’t like that aggression. I don’t want that aggression at all,” he said of Russia’s acts.

National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Tuesday that if the meeting continued as originally planned, he expected it to cover issues such as security, regional issues, and controlling arms. “I think it will be a continuation of their discussion in Helsinki,” Bolton added.

If regional issues are on the table, then the two leaders are likely to discuss the recent escalated tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has asked Trump to deliver a message to Putin while the two meet at the G20 summit.  “Please, get out from Ukraine, Mr. Putin,” Poroshenko said on Tuesday.

Poroshenko said he has several meetings planned with Trump as well and has been assured of the United States’ support. He added that he is counting on the U.S. to aid them in their fight for “freedom and democracy.”