Trump to Skip G20 Climate Change Meeting to Meet With Putin
WASHINGTON, July 6, 2017—Donald Trump will not join other G20 leaders for a meeting on climate change and energy on Friday afternoon because he will instead be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to reports.
White House says Trump to meet Putin @ 3:45 tomorrow, which means they have to skip 3:30 meeting with rest of G20 on climate change & energy
— Philip Oltermann (@philipoltermann) July 6, 2017
The highly-anticipated meeting between Trump and Putin is scheduled for Friday at 3:45 p.m. local time (9:45 a..m. EST). This makes Trump and Putin’s attendance at the previously-scheduled climate and energy meeting at 3:30 p.m. with the rest of the G20 impossible.
During the climate and energy meeting, G20 leaders will negotiate the final language of the G20 Action Plan on Climate and Energy for Growth, which G20 president Angela Merkel has made a priority since assuming the one-year G20 leadership in December 2016.
While most G20 leaders discuss climate change, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be meeting separately. The meeting comes as accusations of collusion with the Russians continue to plague the White House, and after Trump again refused to say definitively that he believed Russia meddled in the 2016 election when asked the question in Poland Thursday.
“Nobody really knows for sure,” Trump said at a press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda. “I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people in other countries.”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will also attend the meeting, according to NBC News.
Ironically, while Trump publicly snubs longtime U.S. allies in favor of meeting with Putin, Vladimir Putin publicly took a jab at Trump in an op-ed published in Handelblatt, the German financial newspaper, ahead of the G20 summit.
In his op-ed, Putin praises free trade, reaffirms his support for the Paris climate agreement and warns against protectionism. The piece was widely regarded as a criticism of Trump.
“While Putin never mentioned Trump directly, the article was a masked swipe at the U.S. president, who has vowed to implement ‘America first’ policies and assailed the current global trade environment as unfair to the U.S.,” writes Max Greenwood in The Hill.
Featured image: Gage Skidmore, Flickr Creative Commons