Monday

20th Nov 2017

Trump and Putin take centre stage at G20

  • Putin to discuss sanctions with US and Ukraine with EU leaders (Photo: kremlin.ru)

US leader Donald Trump’s first meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin will take centre stage at a G20 summit in Germany on Friday (7 July) that is officially dedicated to climate change and free trade.

The two men will meet for about 30 minutes in the margins of the event at the same time as plenary talks on global warming, highlighting Trump’s recent decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on curbing greenhouse gasses.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Merkel seeks robust statement on climate change (Photo: EPP/Flickr)

Trump’s aides said prior to the event that he wants a “constructive dialogue” with Putin, but also that he has no specific agenda for the meeting.

"It's whatever the president wants to talk about,” general Herbert Raymond McMaster, his security adviser, said last week.

Trump in a speech in Warsaw on Thursday pledged allegiance to Nato and urged Russia to halt its “destabilising” activity in Ukraine.

He said on allegations that Russia meddled in the US elections to help him win: “I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries.”

For his part, Putin wrote in Handelsblatt, a German newspaper, that he too wants a “working dialogue” but that the EU and US should lift economic sanctions on his country.

The US leader will also meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to discuss how to handle North Korea’s recent missile tests as well as tensions between US and Chinese navies in the South China Seas.

For her part, German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that she is prepared to talk long into the night to get a robust summit communique on climate, free trade, and migration.

"The negotiations are not easy,” she said.

The G20 statement is being seen by Germany as a counterpoint to Trump’s anti-Paris Agreement and protectionist policies.

China, the world’s biggest polluter, and India have already pledged to support Paris despite the US decision.

The EU on Thursday concluded a free trade pact with Japan to show that its trade agenda was alive and well.

But anti-globalisation protesters in Hamburg on the eve of the G20 came out in their thousands to make known their views on trade, with German police forced to make 76 arrests.

Merkel is also planning to hold separate talks with French leader Emmanuel Macron and Putin on Ukraine.

France and Germany brokered the so-called Minsk ceasefire agreement on the conflict, but neither Russia nor Ukraine have fulfilled Minsk provisions, with daily fire still reported on the contact line three years after fighting began.

Putin is also expected to meet with European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday morning to discuss the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany.

The Commission wants to negotiate the legal model for the project on behalf of the EU, with Nordic and eastern EU states up in arms over the idea of concentrating almost all Russian gas exports to Europe in German hands.

Opinion

Trump loses badly in debut with Putin

Vladimir Putin gained from his performance at the G20 summit in Hamburg. But the same can't be said about the US president.

MEPs ponder how to fight tax havens

After the Paradise Papers brought new revelations about tax dodging across the globe, including in the EU, the European Parliament wonders how to step up the fight.

News in Brief

  1. Bonn climate talks extend into Friday evening
  2. UK needs to move on Brexit by early December, Tusk says
  3. Puigdemont extradition decision postponed to December
  4. Ireland wants written UK guarantees to avoid hard border
  5. US did not obstruct climate talks, says German minister
  6. EU signs social declaration
  7. Puigdemont to be heard by Belgian judges
  8. Steep fall in migrants reaching EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse