Russian Federation assumes Trump, Putin will meet at G20 summit: Lavrov

Russian President Putin speaks over the phone with Turkish President Erdogan while he inspects the work on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project aboard the Pioneering Spirit pipeline-laying ship in the Black Sea near Anapa

The White House has announced that Pres. Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at next week's G20 summit.

The White House confirmed that the two leaders would huddle on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the northern German city.

Trump's early warmth toward Putin - and his blunt criticism of America's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for not spending enough on defense - have rattled many in Europe, and particularly in places like Ukraine and the tiny Baltic countries.

"While in Hamburg, the president will meet with many world leaders", said McMaster, citing the Russian president in particular.

"I have no relationship with him", said Trump, later continuing, "He said something nice about me".

Since Trump's inauguration, he and Putin have shared three phone calls.

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That has included some types of sanctions relief and the potential return of two properties in the United States to Russian control, according to two administration officials. The economic meeting taing place in Germany will be the first between the two men.

One goal of the president's trip, McMaster said, will be "to develop a common approach to Russian Federation".

"No preparations for the meeting are underway, no progress yet", he said.

That is an important distinction, since a formal bilateral meeting would elevate the talks and signal improving ties between Moscow and Washington, while a pull-aside would indicate a lower status to the relationship.

"I still do not want to comment on newspaper reports, because small tidbits of reliable information are sometimes a needle in a haystack among false reports that are published now", he said when asked to comment on a report in the Guardian, which said that the USA is allegedly analyzing potential concessions to Russian Federation in the run-up to the meeting between the two leaders. Trump has yet to meet Putin face-to-face, and as Lavrov pointed out, it'd be very odd for the USA to deliberately avoid such a meeting when they're in the same room. "It would not be right if they fail to hold a conversation and discuss various issues", the Russian top diplomat pointed out.

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