- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2017

President Trump will seek to forge a common strategy to confront Russia next week when visiting Poland and Germany for summits with foreign leaders, the president’s national security advisor said Thursday.

Mr. Trump also is expected to have his first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin while attending the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, although an agenda for that sit-down hasn’t been set, said National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

“The president has made clear that he would like the United States and the entire world to develop a more constructive relationship with Russia. But he has also made clear that we will do what is necessary to confront Russia’s destabilizing behavior,” he said.

The meeting with Mr. Putin and discussions about confronting Russia will be closely watched amid ongoing allegations by Democrats that the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to interfere in the presidential election. No evidence has emerged to support the allegations after a yearlong investigation, but the charges nevertheless overshadow the president’s Russia policy.

Mr. McMaster said the president’s meeting with foreign leaders will include discussion about ways to discourage Russia’s destabilizing behavior and ways to work with Russia to advance common interests.

He said it was the same range of strategies Mr. Trump has ordered U.S. defense and intelligence agencies to pursue.

“Nobody wants a major power war. So what is it that we have to put into place to deter conflict,” Mr. McMaster told reporters at the White House.

Mr. Trump will travel first Wednesday to Warsaw, Poland, to attend the Three Seas Initiative summit of Central European leaders. He will meet privately with President Andrzej Duda of Poland and deliver a speech to the Polish people in the city’s central square.

“While this trip is short, the agenda is packed,” said Mr. McMaster.

Mr. Trump will then travel Thursday to Hamburg for the G20 summit.

The three primary objectives for the entire trip are to promote American prosperity, protect American interests and project American leadership,” said Mr. McMaster.

He said all of the goals involve strengthening U.S. alliances around the world.

“America first does not mean america alone,” said Mr. McMaster.

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