United States national security adviser John Bolton said on Firday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been again invited by the Trump administration to to visit Washington, DC in 2019.
“We have invited President Putin to Washington after the first of the year for basically a full day of consultations,” Bolton said at a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia. “What the schedule of that is, we do not quite know yet.”
According to reports however, whether Putin has accepted the invitation or not is not clear. There were no comments issued by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It was way back in 2005 that Putin had last visited Washington and the White house when he had held meetings with former President George W. Bush. And the last visit of the Russian president to the US was in 2015 during which he had a brief meeting with the then US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Bolton made the announcement soon after his return from Moscow to Tbilisi after a meeting with President Putin in relation to the decision of the United States to walk out of a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty. That treaty was described by Bolton as “obsolete” and accused the Russians of violating the treaty.
Putin called the decision “very dangerous” at a separate press conference of his own.
“There would be nothing left except an arms race,” Putin said.
It has been years that the relationship between the United States and Russia has been fraught with tension, including the presidency of the current US president Donald Trump. According to a very confident conclusion by the U.S. intelligence agencies, the 2016 US presidential elections were definitely meddled in by US hackers under the direct orders of Russian president Putin. The aim of the meddling was to undermine the U.S. democratic process and tarnish the candidacy of Secretary Clinton’. The allegations have been refuted by Russia.
Russia have been issued sanctions on several occasions by the Trump administration during the last two years. In March this year, the US expelled 60 diplomats and closed a West Coast Russian consulate as a reply to the alleged Russian attempts at poisoning a former spy in the United Kingdom.
There have been several meetings between Trump and Putin but on foreign soil. A bilateral meeting held in Helsinki, Finland, was the most recent one.
According to the announcement by Bolton, it is likely that there could be a brief meeting between the leaders during the celebration of the centennial of the armistice ending World War One next month.
“It will be a brief meeting,” Bolton said.
“The president believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over,” Bolton told reporters at the time, “so we’ve agreed that it will be after the first of the year.”
(Adapted from CBSNews.com)