Kremlin says Crimea not on agenda at Putin-Trump summit

The Kremlin said on Monday the Crimean peninsula which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014 is an inseparable part of Russia and not a subject on the agenda at President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Helsinki this month.

Putin is open to looking for compromises with Trump on all other issues, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call with reporters.

President Donald Trump plans to meet one-on-one with Vladimir Putin at the start of their July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland, according to a person familiar with the plans, before allowing other aides to join the highly anticipated encounter with the Russian leader.


The meeting will be the first formal summit talks between them. They have met previously on the sidelines of conferences.
Trump has shown an affinity for meeting individually with his counterparts before opening the room to fuller delegations. During his historic summit with Kim Jong Un last month, Trump met for about an hour with just the North Korean dictator, joined only by their translators. Emerging from the face-to-face, Trump told reporters the discussion was “very, very good.”
At Trump and Putin’s first meeting, on the margins of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, a year ago, the only aide to accompany the President was then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, along with a US translator. The session went so long that first lady Melania Trump was sent in to try to cut it off.
In a second conversation during dinner at the same summit, Trump was without a translator who spoke Russian, so instead relied on Putin’s. The men spoke for about an hour without any other aides present, officials said later. The White House downplayed the significance of the encounter, but experts expressed concern there was no official US record of the talk.
This time, it’s expected a larger delegation of aides will participate in the expanded portion of the summit for a discussion that will center on Syria, nuclear weapons and election meddling.
“The goal of this meeting really is for the two leaders to have a chance to sit down, not in the context of some larger multilateral meeting, but just the two of them, to go over what is on their mind about a whole range of issues,” national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”