(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Austria’s authorities are preparing to host a meeting between Russian and US Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, in Vienna on July 15, Austria’s Kronen Zeitung reported on Sunday.
According to the newspaper’s sources, several days ago diplomatic representatives of Washington and Moscow arrived in the Austrian capital to discuss in detail holding the first bilateral summit between Russia and the US, expected to be held in Vienna on July 15. Senior security officials from both countries have arrived in Austria to prepare for the meeting and have started monitoring the situation to organize the talks. The final decision on the summit’s date may be made in the middle of the next week, the report said.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday he was not ready to inform media about the venue and date for holding a possible Putin-Trump meeting. “We are not ready to provide this information,” Peskov said when asked to comment on the Austrian newspaper’s report. “We will inform you as soon as we are ready.”
Putin and Trump held a telephone conversation on March 20. According to the Kremlin press service, after the phone call the top Russian and US diplomats were asked to explore the issue. On June 10, the Russian president confirmed he was ready to meet with Trump as soon as Washington was ready for the summit. On June 21, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “neither the Kremlin nor the White House has made any official statement” on a possible Putin-Trump meeting.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz confirmed in an interview with OE-24.TV that Vienna had offered to hold the Russian-US summit. “Both presidents [of Russia and the US] are ready to hold dialogue. We offered to hold the meeting in Vienna. Over the past years Vienna has been a good venue for dialogue and talks,” Kurz said.
Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl told TASS ahead of her visit to Russia in April that Vienna could be the best venue for talks between Putin and Trump. According to her, the normalization of ties between Russia and the US may help to solve many regional and global issues.
She recalled that in 1961 Vienna hosted a meeting between US President John Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, and the talks on reaching an agreement to limit strategic launchers in 1979, which was signed by US President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.