Date and venue of Putin-Trump meeting revealed

Date and venue of Putin-Trump meeting revealed

The summit of Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will be held in Helsinki on July 16, the Kremlin press service said today.

"Under the agreement, the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump will take place on July 16 in Helsinki," the statement said.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the current state and prospects of further development of Russian-US relations and also vital issues of the international agenda.

Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov earlier said that the venue of the summit is convenient for both sides. He said that the meeting is likely to last several hours: there will be a protocol event, a tete-a-tete meeting and a joint news conference. Ushakov suggested that Putin and Trump could make a joint statement following the summit. It "could outline the two countries’ further steps both in terms of improving bilateral relations, in terms of joint steps in the international arena and in terms of maintaining global stability and security," the  Kremlin aide noted.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said the agenda of the meeting of Presidents Trump and Putin will be decided during the next two weeks. "They will certainly discuss the overall international situation and hopefully also arms control and disarmament issues," he said in a statement.

The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, drew attention to the uniqueness of the planned meeting.

"It does not follow from any preparatory work, development of an agenda, but it is long overdue, and will try to return a sufficiently high level dialogue between our countries," he said.

The diplomat explained that the negotiating teams always prepare two sets of issues for such meetings, namely, issues that are put forward by one or the other party and which may arise during the negotiations. "In this case, the difficulty will be that it is necessary to touch on a very large set of problems, which were discussed at the level of the first persons only during phone talks, and, of course, this is absolutely not enough," the expert said.

"Therefore, I think that, one way or another, the presidents will have to go through the whole complex of problems of international life and bilateral relations. And it will be the biggest achievement if we manage, as a result, to agree on holding regular meetings at the highest level," Andrei Baklanov concluded.

The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, in turn, stressed that in the first place from the first full-fledged talks between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump Russia expects the stabilization of Russian-US relations, the start of a dialogue and the freezing of the escalation of the current confrontation between Russia and the West.

"We expect neither the lifting of sanctions or anything else, in return for which Washington will certainly demand certain concessions from us. The US seeks promoting any options for concessions from other states, as Washington needs visible geopolitical successes of Trump, who promised that relations with Russia will be improved during his presidency. It will be also important for Trump to demonstrate at this meeting that, despite his limited by Congress abilities, he is still able to act on the international arena. For us, the main success will be the establishment of a dialogue in the form of regular meetings," Andrey Suzdaltsev said.

The director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov, called the upcoming meeting of the presidents "postmodern, philosophical and anti-European." "It is a post-modern meeting, since its form is its content, there will be no meaningful negotiations during it. No compromise has been prepared on all basic issues - neither on Ukraine nor on Syria - so there will be no compromise. But there will be a postmodernist picture for Europeans. Trump's message: "Hey, why you are so angry with me, I can make friends with Putin, your enemy." Another Trump's message may go to China: "Look, the Chinese, you are so friendly with Russia, consider it as an ally, but the US also can be friends with Russia." Also, he will send a message the his people:." Look, I am not afraid to meet with Putin," he said.

Moscow will use this meeting in a similar way. "Russia will send its signals to those who participate in the hybrid war against us and refers to the US order. This is the first big block of the upcoming talks' meaning," Sergey Markov noted.

"The second meaning is that it will be a philosophical meeting of leaders. A very serious dialogue on serious problems is possible at this meeting, Trump wants to understand Putin as the leader of the state. Putin is interested in Trump as well. Although there will be no compromise in Ukraine, US policy towards Ukraine can cardinally change after this meeting, since Putin can open Trump's eyes to what is doing there," the political scientist predicts.

"Of course, such a drastic change can only take place after a certain time after the talks, while after the meeting , I think, they announced some abstract statements about North Korea and the fight against ISIS," Sergei Markov reminded.