Trump says will meet Russia's Vladimir Putin at G-20 summit in Japan

Putin (left) arrives at an awards presentation at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, June 12, 2019.
Putin (left) arrives at an awards presentation at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, June 12, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday (June 12) he would meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Japan later this month.

"I'll be meeting with Putin at the G-20," Trump told reporters at the White House.

The US leader said last month he would meet with Putin at the G-20, but the Kremlin indicated at the time there was no agreement on a bilateral meeting.

Trump's last formal one-on-one with Putin was in Helsinki in July 2018, when the pair dismissed top aides for two hours of talks in a sharp break with standard diplomatic practice.

The US president previously met Putin on the sidelines of a G-20 summit in mid-2017, under a cloud of rebuke for his reluctance to criticise the Russian leader over Moscow's meddling in the previous year's US elections.

Responding to a reporter's question, Trump said it was "probably easier" for their next meeting to involve additional participants.

"I think it is probably easier if we have people in the room, because you people don't trust anything," he told the journalists assembled in the Oval Office.