Kremlin floats Vienna as possible host of Trump-Putin meeting
By John Bowden - 06/09/18
A spokesman for the Russian government suggested Saturday that the Austrian capital of Vienna could be a potential location for a bilateral summit between President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'Excitement in the air' ahead of Kim meetingTrump doubles down on criticism of EU, CanadaMerkel: EU will retaliate against Trump tariffsMORE and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian state news agency Tass reports that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters at a press conference that the two leaders discussed the possibility of a bilateral summit, including possible locations, during a recent phone call.
"Various cities, which can be suitable for a meeting between the two presidents, are often considered. You know that the two presidents discussed the need for such a meeting during their latest telephone conversation, including that Vienna could be such a city," Peskov said.
Peskov was quick to add, according to the report, that discussions between Trump and Putin on the issue are purely in the preliminary stages.
"However, there are no specific agreements, specific understandings or specific discussion at the moment. That is, nothing has changed in this respect," he said.
The Wall Street Journal reported early in June that the White House was preparing for a potential summit between the two leaders, which a senior administration official called an "ongoing project" of Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to Russia.
“This has been an ongoing project of Ambassador Huntsman, stretching back months, of getting a formal meeting between Putin and Trump,” the official told the Journal.
Such a summit would be the third such meeting of Trump and Putin since Trump took office last year. The president has faced criticism at home in recent days for his softened rhetoric on Russia, including his call for Russia to be reinstated to the G-7 group of nations.
"Russia should be in this meeting,” Trump told reporters at the G-7 summit on Saturday. "Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting?"