At G20, Trump Seeks Fresh Start With Putin After End of Mueller Inquiry

Trump has been coy about what they'll actually discuss

President Trump arrived in Osaka, Japan on Thursday evening, and is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday afternoon. This will be their first meeting since last year in Helsinki, and a huge deal, as US and Russia relations have been suffering mightily in recent years.

Trump and other officials have severely limited contact with Russia, likely fearing the Mueller investigation would cast a shadow over any such meetings. With that over, this could be Trump’s chance for a fresh start with Putin, though it isn’t clear what he intends to attempt.

Indeed, Trump has dismissively insisted it is “none of your business” what he and Putin will talk about, saying only that it would be a “very good conversation,” what it is about.

Putin has expressed skepticism about how much could really be accomplished, noting Trump has “a lot of restraints placed on him by other institutions.” He hoped for improves in relations, but seemed to be unclear what Trump could even offer.

Kremlin officials say they expect the talks to center on strategic stability, as well as Syria, Venezuela, and Iran, all of which are bones of contention. US officials suggested Ukraine might also be a topic of discussion.

But again, Trump is refusing to offer any specifics on what will be talked about, and if the last meeting is any indication, will likely offer little after the meeting beyond general talk of his own success.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.