General McMaster confirmed today that President Trump will be meeting with Vladimir Puting at G20. The agenda for the meeting with the President of Russia is not set up yet but General McMasteer stressed that “it’s really going to be whatever the President wants to talk about.”
In an off-camera, on-the-record briefing at the White House, General McMaster revealed that ” the President has asked us to work together across all departments and agencies to do, really, three things”:
1. to confront Russia’s destabilizing behavior
General McMaster: Whether it’s cyber threats, whether it’s political subversion in Europe and elsewhere — in the Balkans now. So confront Russia’s destabilizing behavior and to come up with a strategy to do that.
2. to deter Russia
General McMaster: Because of the worse thing — nobody wants a major power war, right? And so what is it that we have to put in place to be able to deter conflict.
3. to foster areas of cooperation with Russia
General McMaster: What are the areas that we can identify in which we can work together with Russia, which is clearly in both of our interests? And there are a lot of problems in the world that fall into that category.
North Korea, for example, is one of them; the fight against transnational terrorist organizations is another. So the need to de-escalate the Syrian civil war, to defeat ISIS there, and to end that humanitarian catastrophe.
And so these are areas of discussion, again being led extremely well by Secretary of State Tillerson, and that will continue to be the focus of our Russia policy and strategy.
General McMaster also stressed that “our relationship with Russia is not different from any other country in terms of us communicating to them, really, what our concerns are, where we see problems in the relationship, but also opportunities. ”