The first official conversation between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled for Saturday, according to an administration official who spoke to CNN.
“Following the difficult relations we had under Barack Obama, President Putin is ready to meet in the interests of global security and stability,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared.
CNN quotes visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May sounding a note of caution for Trump: “With President Putin, my advice is to engage, but beware. We should engage with Russia from a position of strength and build the relationship, systems, and processes that make cooperation more likely than conflict.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday there has been no formal contact between the Trump and Putin administrations as of yet, although Putin did call Trump on November 14 to congratulate him on his election victory.
“Contacts at the level of the administrations are not taking place at the moment, there haven’t been any yet, such contacts are yet to be established,” said Peskov. “Routine diplomatic work is underway, our embassy in Washington is functioning, they are in constant contact with their counterparts in the State Department.”
On Friday, Peskov looked ahead to the Trump-Putin call: “As it usually happens during such contacts, the sides will naturally exchange opinions on key parameters of the current state of bilateral affairs.”
“One can hardly expect substantive contacts on the entire range of affairs from this call… Let us wait and see, let us be patient,” Peskov advised, as quoted by ABC News.
According to ABC’s report, Trump is also scheduled to speak with the leaders of France and Germany on Saturday.
Russia Beyond the Headlines speculates that Trump and Putin will discuss Syria, the fight against ISIS, nuclear weapons, Ukraine, European security, the fate of Russian citizens currently imprisoned in the United States, and of course U.S. sanctions against Russia.