President Donald Trump’s upcoming sit-down with Vladimir Putin will try to take “some of the danger” out of relations between Washington and Moscow, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said Sunday.
In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Huntsman said “It isn’t a summit. It’s a meeting.”
“No state dinner, no joint statement, no deliverables that are going to be pre-packaged,” he said of the meeting. “You don’t know what’s going to come out of this meeting, but what it will be is the first opportunity for these presidents to actually sit down across a table, alone, and then with their teams, to talk about everything from meddling in the election, to areas where we have some shared interests.”
It’s “inconceivable that we can solve some of the international issues without engaging Russia at some level,” he said.
“Right now, there’s no trust in the relationship, and because of that, problem solving is practically impossible,” he said. “So, this is an attempt to see if we can defuse and take some of the drama, and quite frankly some of the danger, out of the relationship right now.”
Huntsman also said the FBI and embassy “will work on” trying to extradite 12 Russian intel officers who’ve been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for hacking into Democratic email servers prior to the 2016 election.
“Requests can be made. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Russians are going to follow through with it,” he said. “But we’ll see if those steps will be taken.”
Huntsman also said he doubts there’ll be any changes in Crimea as a result of the meeting.
“The agenda is the president’s. Everything will be his call, but I think it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see any change in Crimea,” he said.
In a separate interview with “Fox News Sunday,” he added: “Crimea was a violation of international law. We all recognize that. That’s U.S. policy,. “These are very, very serious issues and issues we have serious sanctions tied to by the way.”
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