United States national security advisor has confirmed that President Donald Trump has issued a formal invitation to the Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit him in Washington D.C. at some point in 2019, as reported by the Guardian.
While visiting the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, Bolton said, “We have invited President Putin to Washington.”
It has not been confirmed whether Putin accepted the invitation from the Trump administration, which was issued during Bolton’s visit to the Kremlin earlier in the week.
Trump and Putin have previously met at a summit in Helsinki in July, which caused a massive amount of controversy in the United States as Trump ignored the pleas of the hawks in the Republican party and continued to seek a closer relationship with the Russian leader.
Trump’s deferential approach to the meeting with Putin in Finland was roundly criticized, as the president went as far to say that he accepted Putin’s denial of any involvement in meddling with the 2016 presidential election despite opposing reports from his own American intelligence agencies.
The topic has been a major point of contention between the two countries, with Bolton confronting Russian officials about the alleged meddling while adding that whatever the involvement, it had minimal effect on Trump’s victory.
New this morning: National Security Advisor John Bolton says Russian President Putin has officially been invited to Washington to meet with President Trump at some point in 2019, @peteralexander reports. pic.twitter.com/VlnOgQUWKD— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 26, 2018
Putin and Trump are scheduled to meet once again in November when they will both be attending a centennial memorial service for Armistice Day, marking the end of the first world war, in Paris. During his news conference in Tbilisi, Bolton said that any meeting in Paris would be brief.
A visit by Putin to America is sure to cause a massive amount of controversy, as the two nations are at their lowest point since the ending of the cold war and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The United States currently has plans to impose sanctions against Russia over the attempted murder of the former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England, done by using a Novichok nerve agent.
Russia has some criticisms of their own, accusing the United States of attempting to trigger an arms race after America pulled out of a 1987 nuclear arms treaty that cooled the threat of nuclear war. The United States alleged that Russia was the first to break the treaty, as they had begun developing a new cruise missile.
Trump’s decision to pull out of the treaty was what triggered Bolton’s visit to Moscow where he met Putin, as well as senior Russian defense and diplomatic officials. Bolton’s trip also included tours of ex-Soviet countries in the Caucasus, including Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.