AFP-Getty Images; AP
WASHINGTON, D.C. — United States President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his upcoming trip to Europe for the G20 summit.
During a Thursday afternoon White House briefing, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and National Economic Director Gary Cohn addressed questions relating to the President’s trip next week to Europe and participation in the G20 in Hamburg, Germany, as well as his first stop in Poland.
McMaster said the President has asked him and others, working across all departments and agencies, to do three things with regard to Russia: “confront Russia’s destabilizing behavior”, deter Russian conflict, and “foster areas of cooperation” where they exist. He mentioned fighting terrorism and dealing with North Korea as areas where the U.S. and Russia could cooperate.
Trump will have meetings with Putin as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President of South Korea Moon Jae-in, President of China Xi Jinping, President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and others. He will also meet with President of Poland Andrzej Duda.
Cohn told reporters that the meetings will include pull asides as well as bilateral meetings, but didn’t specify details relating to each leader.
The administration representatives were asked about any possible danger of meeting with leaders of former communist countries and the possibility of Warsaw as Trump’s first stop on the upcoming trip to Europe, and whether it would endorse assaults on the free press.
“I don’t think there’s a danger of that at all,” replied McMaster. “Poland is a clear choice for a number of reasons.” He said Poland is a NATO ally that will meet its pledge to contribute 2 percent from the Wales conference. McMaster added that they have been a partner and ally during combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
McMaster emphasized that Trump will look forward during meetings in Poland; talking about what Poland has achieved, what they are doing now, and the future of America’s relationship with Poland and Europe. He mentioned access to free and fair trade and energy.
Trump’s first stop on the trip is Warsaw, Poland, after which he will travel to Hamburg, Germany, for the G-20 Summit July 7-8. The White House has also stated that Trump will visit France on Bastille Day, accepting an invitation from recently elected President Emmanuel Macron.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana