MOSCOW (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin plan to meet in Paris next month, officials said on Tuesday (Oct 23), their first encounter since a summit in Helsinki that unleashed a storm of criticism that Mr Trump was cosying up to the Kremlin.
After a meeting in Moscow between Mr Putin and Mr John Bolton, Mr Trump's national security adviser, officials on both sides said a preliminary agreement on a Nov 11 meeting in the French capital had been reached, and that detailed arrangements were under way.
Asked whether he and Mr Putin would meet in Paris, Mr Trump told reporters at the White House: "We may."
"That's being discussed right now," Mr Trump said.
"I think we probably will. It hasn't been set up yet, but it probably will be."
Both presidents plan to be in Paris for events to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I, and they are planning to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines, according to Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov.
Mr Bolton, speaking to reporters after his talks with Mr Putin, said Mr Trump would like to meet the Russian president in Paris and that precise arrangements were being worked on.
Mr Putin and Mr Trump have met several times on the sidelines of multilateral gatherings, but had their first bilateral summit in the Finnish capital in July.
Afterwards, Mr Trump's Democratic Party opponents, and some members of his own Republican Party, accused him of failing to stand up to Mr Putin, especially over allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential elections.
At a post-summit news conference alongside Mr Putin then, Mr Trump questioned the findings of US intelligence agencies that Russia had tried to influence the vote. Moscow denies any interference in the elections.
Republican Senator John McCain, who has since died, described the news conference at the time as "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".
"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant," Mr McCain said.