Trump, Putin talk to be 'fully fledged' bilateral meeting in Germany

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  July 4, 2017 at 10:31 AM
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July 4 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to have a "full-fledged sit-down" bilateral meeting Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Russian and White House officials confirmed.

The two leaders were expected to meet while in Germany, but representatives confirmed Tuesday that instead of a brief side meeting, the two will have a full bilateral talk, Russia's state-run news agency Tass reported.

"It is planned as a fully-fledged, 'seated' meeting," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

It will be the first official bilateral meeting between Trump and Putin, who have previously spoken on the phone.

"So far, there is no clarity as to how long it [the meeting] might take. I think is will be a rather detailed, in-depth discussion. We hope it will be that way," Putin's aide, Yuri Ushakov.

A White House official confirmed the date of the meeting to CBS News.

Among the topics expected to be discussed is the return of property U.S. officials effectively seized when it closed the Russian Embassy in Washington and other diplomatic offices in the United States at the end of December.

The Kremlin said Putin is expected to call for a "most rapid resolution" to the property dispute. A Putin spokesman also said Monday the Kremlin is losing patience in the matter.

The meeting is expected to be key in light of the ongoing diplomatic difficulties between Moscow and Washington over the Kremlin's reputed interference in the U.S. presidential election last fall.

"It is necessary to break the current impasse in bilateral relations. This is equally important for us and for the Americans," Ushakov said.

In December, Trump praised Putin and called him "very smart" when the Russian leader said he didn't want to take immediate retaliatory measures to the sanctions.

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