FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint press conference after meeting in Helsinki on 16 July 2018. REUTERS / Leonhard Foeger
MOSCOW / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump will meet briefly in Paris next week, a Kremlin spokesman said Tuesday, and US officials said such a meeting was likely.
The two leaders, who would like to attend events in Paris on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the First World War, would discuss possible bilateral talks at a later date, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
In Washington, US officials said Trump would likely have a brief meeting with Putin, but at the Summit of the 20 Nations Group in Argentina, a full bilateral meeting would be held at the end of the month.
Trump said on Monday he was not sure if he would meet Putin in Paris. "I am not sure if we have a meeting in Paris. Probably not, "he told reporters.
Putin and Trump have not met in person since a bilateral meeting in Helsinki in July, when concerns were raised in the United States that Trump would interfere with the Kremlin.
Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton said last month that the Paris meeting was brief and more of a "grassroots exercise" in which the two leaders will discuss whether Putin will accept Trump's invitation to come to Washington.
Last week, a Kremlin consultant said Putin and Trump would meet in Argentina for a long session on the sidelines of the G20 summit from 30 November to 1 December.
Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova in Moscow and Steve Holland in Washington; Arrangement by John Stonestreet and Susan Thomas