President Donald Trump said on June 27 that he will “most likely” meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Europe next month.
National security adviser John Bolton is currently in Russia and has reached an agreement with his Russian counterparts for a summit between the two presidents.
Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov, speaking after Putin met Bolton at the Kremlin, said the summit would take place in a mutually convenient third country and that several more weeks were needed to prepare for it.
“It has enormous importance for Russia and America, but it (also) has huge importance for the whole international situation,” Ushakov said.
Trump, speaking at the White House, said, “I’ve said it from day one: Getting along with Russia and China and with everybody is a very good thing.”
Among the topics that will be discussed with Putin are Ukraine and Syria, Trump said.
The already strained relations between the United States and Russia were worsened by the narrative that Trump colluded with Russia to win the election.
An investigation by the House intelligence committee, however, found that no evidence of collusion exists. Similarly, an investigation by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, ordered by then-President Barack Obama in late 2016, found that Russia did attempt to influence the elections, but nothing pointed to collusion with the Trump campaign.
Instead, it has since been revealed that the so-called “Steele dossier,” which is at the center of the Russia collusion narrative, was used by FBI and DOJ officials to obtain a spy warrant on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.
During the elections, Trump said that improved relations with Russia would be beneficial for the United States.
“If we could get Russia to help us get rid of ISIS, if we could actually be friendly with Russia, wouldn’t that be a good thing?” then-candidate Trump said while on the campaign trail.