- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It’s very likely President Trump will speak face-to-face with his Russian counterpart when the two attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam this weekend, the Kremlin press secretary said Wednesday.

Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, told reporters that it’s “highly probable” Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin will meet during the upcoming event, The Moscow Times reported.

“Both Putin and Trump have extensive plans for bilateral meetings, which have been agreed upon long beforehand. There is also the APEC summit program, so the relevant offices are trying to choose an appropriate timing and format,” Mr. Peskov said, as translated by Russian state-owned broadcasting network RT.

Mr. Trump said last week that it was possible he’d meet with Mr. Putin at APEC, but the White House hasn’t publicly confirmed any potential events involving the two.

“We may have a meeting with Putin,” Mr. Trump told Fox News last Thursday. “Putin is very important because they can help us with North Korea. They can help us with Syria. We have to talk about Ukraine.

Both leaders “have a lot to discuss,” Russian Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov agreed Wednesday this week, “including major international issues ranging from Syria to North Korea and so on.”

“There are many bilateral problems — bilateral relations have reached a low point,” Mr. Ushakov said, as translated by the Tass newswire.

Mr. Trump campaigned on improving relations between Washington and Moscow, but he’s distanced himself from Russia ever since U.S. intelligence officials announced in January that Mr. Putin authorized state-sponsored operatives to interference in his election.

Authorities in the Senate, House and the Department of Justice are currently investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential race. Charges were announced last week against three former Trump campaign officials in connection with an election-related probe led by DOJ-appointed special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin met for the first time this past July when the two held a pair of meetings together on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Russia has denied meddling in the 2016 race.

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