President Donald Trump is preparing to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit. Despite the many world leaders in attendance and the issues on the table, the first talk between Putin and Trump is the touchstone for the summit’s success and offers insight into the new playing field in U.S. and world politics.
The two will meet at 3:45 p.m. local time, near the main meeting location in Hamburg. Only six people will be present—the two presidents, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and two translators. The group is scheduled to meet for about 30 minutes.
Find somebody that looks at you like Trump looks at Putin pic.twitter.com/dVFSXre5iC
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 7, 2017
There is no formal agenda planned on the U.S. side, and the administration has said Trump has the leeway to discuss whatever he wants. Hot topics circulating on the world stage include election meddling, Ukraine, Crimea, support for Iran and Syria, and the future dynamic between Russia and the United States, basically, if the two leaders will move into an era of friendlier relations and cooperation or stagnate on the issues.
The G-20 two-day summit hosting the leaders of the world’s most powerful countries begins today, July 7. Germany has held the presidency of the G-20 since December, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel individually welcomed the leaders from each member country in front of press.
The world leaders are set to tackle the most pressing issues in international politics. The results are recorded in a Leaders’ Communiqué, to have political weight. A large focus of the meetings is traditionally on issues of financial concern, especially trade, but the many related issues that tie into finances often take central significance.
This year important issues include terrorism, Brexit, and climate change. The topics of combating global health dangers, women’s economic empowerment, and the migrant and refugee crises will also be discussed.
— Polizei Hamburg (@PolizeiHamburg) July 7, 2017
As Fox News reports, protests of the G-20 summit around Hamburg have turned violent. More police are being called in. One hundred and sixty police have been injured. A German police officer posted a picture showing a puncture wound from a high-speed projectile, almost resembling a bullet wound, perhaps from a rubber bullet.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) July 7, 2017
The protests began on Thursday before the summit. NBC News reported that Melania Trump was supposed to attend a tour with presidential spouses, but was not cleared by Hamburg police because of the danger of the protests. Instead, she tweeted out wishes that everyone stays safe.