Ahead of their scheduled bilateral meeting Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have already spoken at the G-20 summit in Germany, the Associated Press reported.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian president and Trump "shook hands and told each other that they will shortly have a separate meeting."
On the agenda Friday is the first meeting between the two men since Trump’s election to the White House, a campaign and presidency that have been fraught with reports that the Russian government sought to interfere in the presidential race to aid Trump’s candidacy as well as allegations that individuals close to Trump may have aided the Kremlin in its efforts.
Russia has denied those allegations and Trump has suggested only that Russia may have been to blame, stopping short of the certainty with which the intelligence community has leveled the charge. The White House has not said whether or not Trump plans to discuss Russia’s campaign interference during his meeting with Putin Friday, where the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Ukraine are likely to be topics of conversation.
Hours before his meeting with Putin, Trump wrote online that “I look forward to all meetings today with world leaders, including my meeting with Vladimir Putin. Much to discuss.” Peskov said Putin, too, is looking forward to the meeting.