Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he would be ready to meet with US President Donald Trump at the upcoming summit of Arctic countries in Finland, if the talks are properly prepared.
“I believe Finland suits this purpose well, and Helsinki is a very convenient platform to organize an event like this,” Putin said, when asked if he thought a meeting between him and Trump was possible in Finland.
Putin was speaking at the International Arctic Forum in Russia’s northwestern city of Arkhangelsk.
However, he added that any meeting between him and Trump should be well prepared “by both sides.”
“If this happens, we – and I personally – would be glad to take part in such an event. If not, the meeting [with Trump] could take place in the framework of the G20 summit [set to take place in July],” Putin concluded.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said earlier that his country would “certainly be very happy to have the opportunity to hold such a summit.”
The summit is set to take place at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki on September 18-20, 2017, according to the event’s official website.
Russia considers the US a great power, and would like to get its relationship with Washington back on track, and claims alleging anything else are lies and fiction, Putin said.
The Russian president added that, while relations between Moscow and Washington are currently “at zero level,” he counts on the situation improving someday – and the sooner the better.
The anti-Russian card is being played by various political forces in the US to reinforce the positions of certain politicians, Putin added, slamming as nonsense claims that the Russian ambassador to the US had held “spy” meetings with officials connected to Trump.
Putin also slammed the way the Russian ambassador is being treated in the US. The diplomat’s contacts have been limited and any meetings he has are regarded as a spy activities, according to the Russian president.
Putin warned that the attempt of some US political forces to bring US-Russian relations to the point of “Caribbean crisis” [October missile crisis] is a huge mistake.
Putin also confirmed that he will personally meet with Rex Tillerson to discuss the fight against terrorism during the US secretary of state’s upcoming visit to Moscow.
The US State Department said Tillerson is planning to visit Russia in April following a G-7 meeting in Italy. An exact date hasn’t been announced.
The first high-profile Russia-US meeting was held in mid-February, when Tillerson met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Bonn, although journalists were asked to leave when the US’ top diplomat began speaking.