German, NATO officials wary of Trump-Putin summit

08 July, 2018, 01:13 | Author: Kim Reid
  • US Senator Richard Shelby Republican of Alabama, and Senator Jerry Moran Republican of Kansas chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection Product Safety Insurance and Data Security spoke to the Associated Press at the US Embassy in M

When questioned about the need for a private meeting between the two, a White House official said it's coming at the right time for direct communication and referred to Trump's recent success at the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The senior administration official stressed that while United States officials have "repeatedly" raised election meddling in meetings with Russian officials, "the fact of the matter is we have not had the kinds of conversations, direct conversations, across the table conversations about things like election meddling and malign activity that really do need to take place".

Mr. Huntsman said the US has repeatedly confronted Russian Federation about the election hacking, despite Mr. Trump frequently diminishing the issue and repeating Mr. Putin's own denials of meddling.

Huntsman cited Trump's meeting earlier this month with North Korean Kim Jong Un as having "reduced tension on the Korean Peninsula", and said that any reduction in tension with Russian Federation "would be on a much bigger scale".

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Eastern Europe, which sits at Russia's doorstep, has been particularly eager to keep American troops.

President Donald Trump is prepared to discuss Russian election meddling and other "malign" activities when he meets one-on-one with President Vladimir Putin later this month, the USA ambassador to Russia said.

"At a time when the trans-Atlantic relationship between Europe and the U.S.is under a lot of pressure over disagreements on Iran and trade, NATO is really at the core of this relationship and will Trump - by basically criticizing the Europeans and conditioning American support - bring more disunity within the alliance", said Erik Brattberg, director of the Carnegie Endowment's Europe program who is in touch with a few diplomats who are concerned about Trump's possible reduction of troops.

Huntsman stressed the importance of going in to any meeting with Russian Federation "with eyes wide open".

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Trump has expressed scorn for the alliance and is expected to upbraid European NATO members for not spending enough on their own defense.

Administration officials have also said that subjects discussed with Putin would include Syria, where the administration is looking for a political settlement that would allow the withdrawal of USA troops there.

Speaking of the possible topics of the upcoming meeting, Huntsman said "some of them might be around strategic stability and arms control". He knows the facts and the details and he's discussed it. "That's the reason why we will continue to have talks in the NATO-Russia Council".

The two ambassadors laid out a preliminary schedule for Trump's travels. He is due to arrive in Helsinki the evening of July 15 for meetings the next morning with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

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The summit also will include a bilateral meeting and a working lunch between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin.

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