The U.S. ambassador to Russia confirmed Thursday that President Donald Trump will have a one-on-one meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland later this month. For an alliance based on solidarity, disunity is precisely the wrong message Trump should be taking to his meeting this month with the cunning Putin in Helsinki.
Given the president's reported desire to explore pulling USA troops from Germany, one administration official said "there is nothing being said at all about the troop alignment in Germany or anything that would change the 32,00 troop force we have in Germany".
"The president believes a better relationship with Russia would be good for both America and Russia, but the ball really is in Russia's court and the president will continue to hold Russia accountable for its malign activity", Huntsman said on a conference call.
"There are great concerns in the alliance about what agreements Trump and Putin could reach", Beyer told the Funke Mediengruppe newspapers in an interview published Saturday.
"Everyone in our alliance has the same goal, and that is a strong deterrent; an alliance that is unified that can face any threats that any one of our 29 members might face", she said, listing "Russia and the malign activities of Russian Federation, the efforts of Russian Federation to divide our Democratic nations" and INF treaty violations as among those threats.
Huntsman said Trump would address the election interference in his conversations with Putin, along with a range of other national security issues, including Russia's annexation of Crimea and its efforts in Syria.
"The president's priority is to protect the American people and American interests, including those of our allies and partners", he said.
Yer we should expect to hear none of this nuance at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, as poohbahs of the dying old European political order gather to tut-tut President Trump in the alliance's fancy new $1.4 billion headquarters, funded predominantly by American taxpayers.
She said she expected unanimous agreement among NATO's 29 members on proposals to reform the alliance command structure, increase readiness for possible threats from Russian Federation on NATO's eastern flank, add a new training mission for Iraq and increase counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan.
The summit will follow a NATO meeting in Brussels where Russian Federation will also top the agenda, said U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison. "We all talk about it a little differently", he said, "but the president has talked about it in his own way".
The summit will include a one-on-one sit down followed by an expanded bilateral meeting with advisers and a working lunch.
"You can't solve problems if you are not talking about them", said Huntsman.