President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton will meet with his Russian counterpart next week for follow-up discussions on issues raised at the Helsinki summit, the White House confirmed.
After meeting officials in Israel and Ukraine, Bolton will head to Geneva to meet with an unnamed Russian representative to “discuss a range of national security issues,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Tuesday, calling it a “follow-up” to last month’s summit in Helsinki.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said earlier that a meeting between Bolton and secretary of the Security Council Nikolay Patrushev could happen “by the end of the summer.”
News of the meeting comes just hours after the website of the Congress published the text of a “sanctions bill from hell” proposed by some of the most outspokenly anti-Russian US Senators.
Last week, the State Department announced the US would be imposing additional sanctions on Russia over the alleged chemical attack in Salisbury, England this spring. Unless Russia provided “reliable assurances” that it wouldn’t use chemical weapons in the future and agreed to “on-site inspections” by the UN, the State Department said another round of sanctions would be imposed within 90 days. This would include a near-total trade blockade, downgrading diplomatic relations and banning the Russian airline Aeroflot from flying to the US.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump met in the Finnish capital on July 16. While Moscow hailed the summit as a positive step in normalizing relations with Washington, the US political and media establishment just about accused Trump of treason.
While some of Trump’s critics in his own party echoed the claims of the opposition Democrats, they thought the demand to have the translator from the meeting with Putin testify before Congress was going too far.
Relations with Russia should not be held hostage to internal US political disputes, Putin told Fox News after the summit. Democrats have latched onto accusations that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election – and helped Trump – as a way to explain Hillary Clinton’s defeat.