Moscow and Washington are exploring the opportunity of a meeting between US and Russian Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Richard Hooker, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia in US National Security Council, told TASS.
"I think that both sides are exploring an opportunity to meet, yes. I don't think any decisions have been made, or details have been worked out, but I believe both sides are exploring an opportunity to try to do that," he said, answering the question whether Washington is preparing for a possible meeting of the two leaders.
According to him, Austria is considered as one of possible venues for the summit.
"I am sure this is an option under consideration, but no decision has been made," he said.
Last week, Wall Street Journal reported citing sources that Putin is considering the opportunity of organizing his meeting with Trump in Vienna and discussed this issue with Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz.
According to the publication, during his visit to Austria earlier this month Putin allegedly spoke with the Chancellor about the possibility of organizing a summit in Vienna this summer. According to the newspaper, Kurtz told the Russian leader that he would contact Trump about this matter.
Later a representative of the White House confirmed that Vienna informed the US administration about its readiness to host the summit.
On March 20, Putin and Trump had a telephone conversation. According to the Kremlin press service, the heads of US and Russian foreign ministries were instructed to work out the details of the meeting between the two leaders. Moreover, later it became known that Trump not only talked about the possibility of a meeting, but also invited Putin to Washington for this purpose. At the end of May, aide of the Russian President Yuri Ushakov said that the opportunity of organizing a meeting between Putin and Trump in the coming months, before the summit of G20 in November, has not been discussed yet.
On June 10, Putin confirmed that he was ready to meet with Trump as soon as the US was ready for it.