Trump to meet Putin, seeks constructive ties with Russia: WH
The White House has confirmed that President Donald Trump will meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at the G20 summit next week, seeking "a more constructive relationship” with Moscow.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the high-stakes meeting with the Russian president will be one of several scheduled for Trump when he travels to Hamburg, Germany, for the summit taking place on July 7 and 8.
"As the president has made clear, he would like the United States and the leaders of the entire West to develop a more constructive relationship with Russia," McMaster said.
"But he also made clear that we will do what is necessary to confront Russia's destabilizing behavior," he added.
Trump will be under pressure to side with the US intelligence services that have accused Russia of interfering in the US presidential election. Both Trump and Russia have rejected the accusations.
McMaster refused to say whether the subject of the alleged Russian meddling in the election might be discussed when Trump meets with Putin.
The Trump administration's relationship with Russia, including possible contacts between some of the president's senior advisers and Moscow, has come under intense scrutiny amid a number of congressional and independent investigations into the matter.
Trump has on several occasions expressed support for improving ties with the former Cold War adversary since he started running for president.
President Putin has also indicated that restoration of normal ties between Moscow and Washington will serve the interests of both sides.