The much anticipated meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin occurred today at G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
The two leaders shook hands for the first time, as shown on images released today. Putin and Trump were expected to meet since Trump entered office in January this year. The two leaders have spoken on the phone on more than one occasion, and they discussed about Syria, Ukraine, North Korea and fight against terrorism.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2017
Donald Trump announced the meeting on Twitter, while Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the meeting took place at G20 summit today.
“They shook hands and said that soon they will hold a separate meeting, that they will see each other soon,” Kremlin spokesman Peskov told reporters.
According to the Kremlin, the first meeting between Trump and Putin is an opportunity to “establish a working dialogue” between the two leaders, which is important for resolving the most important international issues.
Putin and Trump have shook hands and it is expected the two will meet separately later today.
The first face-to-face meeting between Trump and Putin is taking place in the atmosphere of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and U.S. and Russia in Syria.
Russia has refused to endorse a draft of U.S. resolution condemning North Korea’s recent missile launch and calling for new sanctions against Pyongyang.
The relations between Moscow and Washington in Syria remain strained, after the U.S. shot down Syrian government aircraft on June 18th.
Several prominent analysts, as well as Russian government officials, said that Russia-U.S. relations are at their lowest point in decades. After his election triumph over Hillary Clinton in November, there were expectations that Trump could work towards better relations with Russia in the midst of tensions between the two countries over Syria and Ukraine.
However, Trump has been accused of profiting from alleged Russian hacking of U.S. election, while some of the key men in his administration were also accused of links with the Russians.
The alleged Russian interference in U.S. election is still being investigated.
Photo: EPA/STEFFEN KUGLER HANDOUT