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September 23, 2019

Putin, Trump may have one-on-one talk at start of Helsinki summit

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Photo: TASS
Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Photo: TASS

MOSCOW— Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump may have a one-on-one talk at the beginning of their summit in Helsinki on 16 July, if there is preliminary agreement, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
Replying to a question about how much a one-on-one meeting suits Russia, the Kremlin spokesman said: “It is totally suitable. President Putin feels relaxed in any format, which is comfortable for his interlocutors. Indeed, we do not rule out that both Presidents Putin and Trump may have a tete-a-tete meeting at the beginning, if an initial agreement is confirmed and there is preliminary understanding.”
CNN reported on Monday citing a source familiar with the plans that Trump planned a one-on-one talk with Putin at the beginning. According to the TV channel, the US president wants to personally talk with Putin before allowing other aides and delegation members to join the meeting.
Trump used the same one-on-one format during his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore last month, CNN reports. Trump met for about an hour with just the North Korean leader, joined only by their translators before opening the room for fuller delegations.
As the Kremlin press office reported earlier, the Putin-Trump encounter will take place in Helsinki on July 16. According to Kremlin Spokesman Peskov, the two leaders will discuss a number of uneasy issues, including the comprehensive discussion of the situation in Syria.—Tass

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