Following the recent media allegations of a second, ‘undisclosed’ meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit, Russian Foreign Ministry minister Sergey Lavrov joked that the two might have met much more than just three times.
“They might have met even much more than just three times,” “Maybe they went to the toilet together,” he joked during an interview with NBC.
“When you are brought by your parents to a kindergarten do you mix with the people who are waiting in the same room to start going to a classroom?” Lavrov asked, suggesting that the G20 summit presented an opportunity for the two leaders to spend more time together.
He added: “I remember when I was in that position I did spend five or ten minutes in the kindergarten before they brought us to the classroom.”
Lavrov also said there have two meetings between Putin and Trump, when the two leaders shared a handshake at the margins of the summit, and the previously scheduled bilateral meeting. However, he also said the leaders met for the third time during a social dinner at the summit.
“After the dinner was over…I was not there…President Trump apparently went to pick up his wife and spent some minutes with President Putin…so what?” Lavrov said.
Earlier, Trump wrote on Twitter that the news story of his secret meeting with Putin was ‘sick’ and that all G20 leaders and their spouses were invited by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Some of the leading mainstream U.S. media reported that Trump and Putin held a second, undisclosed private conversation.
“Pretty much everyone at the dinner thought this was really weird, that here is the president of the United States, who clearly wants to display that he has a better relationship personally with President Putin than any of us, or simply doesn’t care,” said Ian Bremmer, in an article published in New York Times. Bremmer claimed he had heard directly from attendees at the dinner and added: “They were flummoxed, they were confused and they were startled.”
The White House said there was nothing unusual about the dinner conversation between the two leader.
Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said Putin and Trump ‘did not hold a second meeting’.
“There was no secret second meeting,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, according to Reuters.
The use of a term like ‘undercover’ or ‘secret meeting’ raises eyebrows,” Peskov told state TV, the agencies reported.
“They had a bilateral meeting that had been officially agreed through diplomatic channels, then they repeatedly exchanged views and remarks on the sidelines. There were no undercover or secret meetings and to assert that there were is absolutely absurd,” Peskov was quoted as saying.
Photo: Sputnik International