Preparations and Hype For G20 Underway: Will Meeting Between Putin and Trump Salvage Relations?
— Next week is going to be stressful and resonant for the Russian president. At least, due to the G20 summit in Argentina, where apparently negotiations will finally take place between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
Pavel, are you ready for a long trip?
— Yes, I am. We hope that the negotiations will really take place. We also hope that if agreements are achieved this time, they won't immediately be disavowed by the US as they were after the previous meetings when Trump was immediately criticized by his political opponents and the White House practically took the words back.
— The relationship has been getting worse with every meeting between Putin and Trump. Is there a chance that it'll happen again?
Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia: «You know, we can't promise that the political forces in the USA which are constantly trying to undermine Donald Trump's presidency, won't provocate again. On the contrary, I think there will be new provocations, and there will definitely be attempts to destroy our relationship. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't have a dialogue, and we're ready for it. And when the president of a great country is ready to talk with the president of another great country, I think it's our sacred duty to make sure that contacts work out».
Especially when the relationship is getting worse every week, the most urgent thing at the moment is the US leaving the INF agreement. At the meeting with military officials in Sochi, Putin warned that every decision has consequences.
Vladimir Putin: «We cannot and will not leave it without a response. Let me remind you now, that when the US unilaterally left the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, we declared officially and honestly that we would take retaliatory measures. And that's what we did. Now, Russia has hypersonic weapons capable of bypassing any missile defense system».
Experts from Moscow and Washington are preparing for the meeting between Putin and Trump. The exact time, place, and format of the talks are not yet known.
Sergey Lavrov: «The preparation is not too difficult, because all of the other meetings between Putin and Trump were accompanied by the development of documents, that systematized, I would say, the current state of the relationship, revealed omissions that happened when the Obama administration destroyed a major part of the dialogue channel, and advise our negotiators which initiatives may be proposed to president, and these aren't a sensation either. This is a necessity for the beginning of a normal, professional, non-politicized work with no ideology along the lines that are vital to the interests of Russia and the USA, and are no less important for the international community as a whole».
The G20 format, in the fields of which the meeting of Putin and Trump will take place, was created 10 years ago during the world financial crisis. It was demanded throughout the years that economic barriers be removed. Now, however, the main ideological inspirer of the market economy, the USA, is cherishing a policy of protectionism, it's every man for himself now. It was once an honor to be a WTO member, but no one cares for their rules now, so the new G20 is of high interest.