BEIJING: Russia and the US disagreed on Thursday over whether US President Donald Trump plans to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam.
Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told Russian news agencies that the meeting “will be on November 10”, with the exact time still being discussed.
But in comments in Beijing, where Trump is on a state visit, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that no decision had been taken on a potential meeting.
“There has never been an agreement, certainly not to a formal bilat,” or bilateral encounter, Tillerson said, adding that the “question is whether we have got sufficient substance” to talk about.
“If we’re going to have a meeting, let’s make sure it’s a meaningful meeting,” he said, mentioning the discussions on the situations in Syria and Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said talks about the time, place and format of the meeting were continuing.
“We hope that in the nearest future these plans will be confirmed and we will be able to inform you,” he told journalists.
“The two presidents will have the possibility to speak on the sidelines of the APEC summit several times in any case,” he added.
Both leaders will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang in the coming days.
The two men last met at the G20 summit in Germany in July.
Trump said Sunday that he thought “it’s expected we’ll meet with Putin” to discuss North Korea.
In Beijing, Trump appealed to both China and Russia to act quickly to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis.
“I’m also calling on Russia to help rein in this potentially very tragic situation,” he said.
Relations between Moscow and Washington have plummeted as a US probe has accused Trump’s former campaign aides of secretly meeting Kremlin-connected officials.
Russia has denied allegations of interfering in the US election last year that brought Trump to power.—AFP