The Donald Trump administration on Monday, April 2, created the possibility of a meeting between President Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the White House. If this takes shape, Putin would be present at the Oval Office for the first time in over a decade even as relations between Washington and Moscow have deteriorated steeply over the past few years.
Washington recently expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the US keeping in tune with a number of western countries which condemned Moscow over the poisoning of one of its former spies and his daughter living in England.
Russia also said on Monday that Trump had invited Putin during the two's telephone call in March. Trump had called Putin to congratulate him after he won his fourth presidential term in Russia ignoring warnings from his advisers, earning criticism as a result.
White House sources said "a number of potential venues were discussed" for the meeting but preparations were yet to begin for the meeting, Associated Press reported. Putin had met former president George W Bush at the Oval Office in 2005.
The reaction to Trump's probable meeting with Putin in the diplomatic circles was alarming. The thought that Trump might not confront Putin on issues like poisoning of the spy or Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election displeased many. Experts even called the prospects of a Trump-Putin summit abnormal in the prevailing conditions.
Putin's foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov told the media on Monday that when Trump proposed to have a meeting in White House and described the idea as "quite interesting and positive". The Russians expected that the recent expulsions of the diplomats wouldn't ruin the prospects of Trump-Putin talks.
US policy on Russia and Trump's take on Putin don't match
Although the US policy towards Russia has been strong, Trump personally has expressed time and again his liking for Putin and clarified more than once to his allies that he trusts his own instincts when it comes to dealing with Putin's Russia.