June 15 (UPI) — The White House and the Kremlin are exploring a summit meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Richard Hooker, an aide to Trump and senior director on the National Security Council, told Russia’s TASS news agency both sides are weighing the possibility of a meeting.
“I don’t think any decisions have been made, or details have been worked out, but I believe both sides are exploring an opportunity to try to do that,” Hooker said.
CNN reported Thursday night, two days after Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the Kremlin is pushing for the meeting.
Vienna, Austria, is a site under consideration for a potential meeting this summer, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. Putin has also acknowledged the possibility of a meeting.
Putin and Trump have previously met on the sidelines of global conferences and have talked on the phone eight times since Trump took office last year — a pace nearly equivalent to the total number of phone calls former President Barack Obama had with the Russian leader in his final two years in office.
Trump told reporters at the G7 summit in Canada last week he favored readmitting Russia to the group. Moscow was expelled in 2014 for its annexation of Crimea.
“Russia should be in this meeting. Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting?” Trump said. “It may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run.”
The Wall Street Journal reported Putin discussed a potential meeting in Vienna with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz. Kurtz, the report said, agreed to approach Trump about the meeting.