Trump fails to rule out accepting Russian claim on Crimea

Glen Norman
July 4, 2018

TASS/.The topic of Syria will be fully discussed at the July 16 summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his United States counterpart Donald Trump in Helsinki, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Friday.

Asked about whether the visiting USA lawmakers would meet Putin, Peskov said: "For now, it is not on the president's schedule, but we know that the American officials have planned quite wide-reaching contacts with their colleagues".

But Trump asserted that Moscow's interference in US elections will be a key topic.

When interviewer Margaret Brennan expressed skepticism that a concerted campaign to aid Trump would have been done without Putin's knowledge and approval, Bolton said the notion was "worth pursuing - I'm sure the president will want to pursue it". I think we'll be talking about many other subjects. "We may even talk about saving millions of dollars on weapons...we are building a force like nobody's ever seen before", he told reporters when asked about his meeting with Putin next month.

Other contentious issues are also likely to come up in the meeting, which will mark the third time the two presidents meet but their first official summit.

The announcement of the meeting had followed after President Putin met US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who was in Moscow this week to lay the groundwork for the summit.

"There are new rising powers like, of course, China and a more resurgent Russian Federation". That would not be a bad thing.

"There are a wide range of issues, despite the differences between us, where both President Trump and President Putin think they may be able to find constructive solutions", he said.

Trump's praise of Putin as a strong leader and his stated desire to forge better relations with Russian Federation are of concern to critics.

Trump was noncommittal when asked if he might lift sanctions imposed on Russian Federation, telling reporters: "We'll see what Russian Federation does. We're going to be talking to them about Syria", he said.

"I fear his eagerness to get along with Putin might produce concessions that do not serve American national interests", Michael McFaul, ex-U.S. Ambassador to Russian Federation, recently told The New York Times.

He tweeted Thursday, "Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!". "We want to strive for a better relationship", Stoltenberg said.

Trump scheduled the Putin summit this week in what he said was an effort to reverse a year of souring relations over matters from Moscow's backing of Syria's alleged chemical weapons attacks to its own alleged use of a chemical weapon against a former Russian spy in England.

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