Trump unsure if he will meet with Putin in Paris

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin react at the end of the joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he was unsure if he would meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin during a visit to Paris next week, but he will meet him at the summit of the Group of 20 nations in Argentina at the end of the month.

“We haven’t set anything up yet. We don’t know that that’s going to be the right place. I’m going to be in Paris for other reasons. But we will be meeting at the G20,” Trump said at Joint Base Andrews before leaving on a campaign trip.

“I’m not sure we’ll have a meeting in Paris. Probably not.”

Trump and Putin had planned to hold a bilateral meeting in Paris on Nov. 11 on the sidelines of events to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA news agency that Putin and Trump were bound to meet, but will not hold “substantive” talks.

“That’s true that the circumstances have been slightly changed. The multilateral format of events to commemorate the centenary of World War One does not allow the two presidents to have substantive meetings,” RIA cited Peskov as saying.

He said the two would have “standing talks” in Paris to make a decision on a further formal meeting.

Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said last month the Paris meeting would be brief and more of “a base-touching exercise” during which the two leaders will discuss whether Putin would accept Trump’s invitation to come to Washington.

On Friday, a Kremlin aide said Putin and Trump would meet for a long session on the sidelines of the Nov. 30-Dec. 1 G20 summit in Argentina.

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