Trump and Putin meet for first time
has scheduled 35 minutes for the meeting.
“Much to discuss,” Trump tweeted before the encounter.
When asked if Putin was looking forward to the talks and whether he had lots of questions for Trump, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he did.
The heavily anticipated meeting is being closely scrutinized for signs of how friendly a rapport Trump and Putin will have. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, had notoriously strained ties to Moscow, and Trump has expressed an interest in a better US-Russia relationship.
But deep skepticism about Russia in the US and ongoing investigations into whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Moscow during last year’s election have made a detente politically risky for Trump.
As leaders gathered at a summit hall in Hamburg for a group photo, Trump and Putin stood on opposite sides of the tableau. Putin chatted casually with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before taking his spot for the photo next to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
After the cameras snapped away, Merkel, in the center, dismissed the group with a firm nod of the head.
In the lead-up to the meeting, Trump, during a speech in Warsaw on Thursday, urged Russia to “cease its destabilizing 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 i n defense of civilization itself ”.
But much of the focus both in Washington and Moscow will be on whether Trump broaches the issue of Russia’s meddling in the election.
During a news conference in Poland on Thursday, Trump again refused to accept the conclusion by multiple US intelligence agencies t hat Russia had interfered to try to help him win in November.
He said it could have been Russia, but that other countries could have meddled, too.
“Nobody really knows for sure,” Trump said.
US lawmakers and investigators continue to look into Russia’s interference, along with possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials. That puts Trump under intense scrutiny over how he handles the sitdown with Putin.
The list of their meeting would include issues range from Syria, Iran to Ukraine, and the Korean Peninsula.
Donald Trump (left) and Vladimir Putin met for the first time in Hamburg on Friday.