HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — The Kremlin says that President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump have exchanged a handshake and a few words ahead of their sit-down at the G-20 summit.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin and Trump “shook hands and told each other that they will shortly have a separate meeting.”
Asked about Trump’s tweet that he’s looking forward to meeting with Putin and they have “much to discuss,” Peskov answered that the Russian president is also looking forward to the encounter.
The long-anticipated Putin-Trump meeting will be closely watched to see whether Trump brings up Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The two presidents are expected to focus on the Syrian war, the Ukrainian crisis and the fight against terrorism.
The meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 global economic powers opens Friday with a discussion on fighting terrorism — one of the least contentious subjects on an agenda that also includes global trade and climate.
The G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman isn’t attending, and his country is represented by Ibrahim al-Assaf, the minister of state.
Also attending the summit are the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Guinea, Senegal, Singapore and Vietnam.
President Donald Trump is tweeting that “everyone” in Hamburg, Germany is talking about the Democrats’ response to Russian election hacking ahead of his highly-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump writes ahead of his arrival at the group of 20 summit: “Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!”
Podesta was the former chair of Trump 2016 rival Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Podesta did not run the Democratic National Committee.
U.S. intelligent agencies have blamed the hacking of the DNC as well as Podesta’s personal email account on the Russian government.