02:48 GMT +324 January 2019
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    Cars pass by a billboard showing US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin placed by pro-Serbian movement in the town of Danilovgrad on November 16, 2016

    How Trump's Political Agenda is 'Being Polished' Before First Meeting With Putin

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    The first meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump may take place at the G-20 summit in Hamburg. However, the leaders are unlikely to discuss any political issues, Russian expert Lev Klepatsky told Radio Sputnik.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier stated the presidents of the two countries are likely to meet for the first time during the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Professor Lev Klepatsky of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the meeting of the two leaders will take place "on the sidelines" of the summit, which is why political issues are unlikely to be discussed.

    "It is necessary to take into account the conditions in which the meeting will take place — it will be held on the sidelines of the summit, which means that the main agenda will be G20 itself, why bilateral negotiations won't take place in a full-fledged format. G20 deals with economic and financial issues, not political ones," Klepatsky explained.

    At the same time, the expert noted that Trump and Putin have a lot to talk about. According to him, the countries can cooperate on financial issues, particularly in the framework of the International Monetary Fund. The expert also noted that the parties do not want to speed up their meeting.

    "It is important for Trump to learn what approach his NATO allies and the EU have toward global problems, and so he will have discussions with them first. Frau Merkel will soon pay a visit to the United States. This is how Trump's political agenda is being polished," Klepatsky said.

    With regard to anti-Russian sanctions, the expert noted that any changes in this direction would depend on changes in Washington's attitude towards Russia.

    "We won't beg for the sanctions to be lifted. They started this, let them review all this by themselves. The revision of the sanctions policy depends on the changes in the attitude towards the Russian Federation as a whole. When Trump and his team form certain approaches — namely the coordinates of their policy — then decisions on the issue of the sanctions will be made," the expert concluded.

    Moscow Kremlin
    © Sputnik / Alexey Druzginin/Anton Denisov/Russian Presidential Press Office
    Since 2014, relations between Russia and the West have gone downhill amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions amid Crimea's reunification with Russia and Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.

    Earlier, Russian officials stated that Moscow doesn't intent to raise the issue of sanctions during the meetings with their colleagues from Washington as it was not Russia's initiative to impose them.


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