Process To Set Up Trump-Putin Summit Has Begun; London Is Alarmed

Perhaps this has something to do with the urgency for a Trump-Putin summit, despite bitter opposition from Congress and the legacy media to any detente with Russia?

June 21, 2018 (EIRNS)—U.S. National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis wrote in his Twitter account this morning that U.S. National Security Advisor “John Bolton will visit London and Rome on June 25-27 to discuss national security issues with British and Italian officials and travel to Moscow for consultations on a potential meeting between U.S. and Russian Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.”

Marquis did not mention when Bolton will be in Moscow, nor did he specify either the date or the venue for the potential summit, TASS reported today. “Putin and Trump held a telephone conversation on March 20. According to the Kremlin press service, after the phone call, the top Russian and U.S. diplomats were directed to explore the issue,” TASS reported today.

In earlier coverage TASS cited Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling reporters today about Bolton’s proposed visit, saying, “as far as we know, such a visit is going to take place. This is all we can say for now.” Also before the Marquis posting, TASS had quoted Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying that, “Moscow is open to contacts with the U.S. on all issues, but it will not react to leaks concerning the possibility of a Russia-U.S. summit.”

The British, however, are quite alarmed that a Trump-Putin summit will occur before the July 11-12 NATO summit. Citing unnamed “Whitehall” (British government) sources, The Times of London writes today that the British are “appalled” that U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin could take place before the NATO summit and his subsequent visit to Britain. “The prospect of a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin appalls British officials,” wrote The Times. “ ‘It’s unclear if this meeting is after or before NATO and the U.K. visit,’ a Whitehall official said. ‘Obviously after would be better for us. It adds another dynamic to an already colorful week.’ ”

The Brits fear a meeting between Putin and Trump could endanger NATO’s “shared goals”—meaning shared with the British Empire’s geopolitical aims.

The Times wrote further that, “A senior Western diplomatic source said that a Trump-Putin meeting before the NATO summit would cause ‘dismay and alarm,’ adding, ‘It would be a highly negative thing to do.’ ”

The NATO summit in Brussels “is due to discuss an escalation of measures to deter Russian aggression,” wrote The Times. “ ‘Everyone is perturbed by what is going on and is fearing for the future of the alliance,’ a Whitehall source said.”

Greece Intends To Increase Cooperation with China

June 21, 2018 (EIRNS) —Greek Parliament President Nikos Voutsis is on a mission to China to enhance bilateral political and economic relations. On June 19 he met China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu and Vice President Wang Qishan. Xinhua reports that Li, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), said all-around pragmatic cooperation under the guidance of the two countries’ leaders has produced fruitful results, with joint construction of the Belt and Road playing an important role. He also said that China’s NPC is willing to cooperate more with the Greek Parliament to create a better legal and social environment for building the Belt and Road, and to promote the China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership.

Voutsis said Greece is willing to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, and expressed the hope that both sides will have more legislative exchanges to promote friendly meetings and pragmatic cooperation.

“China and Greece are traditionally friendly countries,” Chinese Vice President Wang said. Both understand and respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, he said, and are working to consolidate their strategic trust. Wang said China attaches great importance to its ties with Greece, and is willing to make joint efforts to strengthen exchanges at various levels.

For his part, Voutsis said Greece is willing to promote joint efforts between China and the EU to play a more important role in global and regional security and stability, as well as economic globalization.

Chinese Group To Invest € 1 Billion in Serbia as Part of the Belt and Road Initiative

June 21, 2018 (EIRNS)—A news item from Tanjug reports that “the Sino-RS Investment Group will invest €1 billion in Serbia as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The funds will be released through the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The money will be used to fund projects in the areas of transport, energy, telecommunications, agriculture, and construction, some as public-private partnerships.

“The main focus is on transport, airports, ports, bridges, communications, water supply and drainage in urban and rural areas, as well as electricity supply, agriculture, and basic assets necessary for the provision of non-material goods or services—for science, education, culture and healthcare, according to Sino-RS Investment Group President Jin Frank Li.”

The deal was clinched when Tomislav Nikolic, the head of the President of Serbia’s National Council for Cooperation with Russia and China, met with representatives of the Sino-RS Investment Group in early June, Tanjug wrote on June 5. “The meeting in Belgrade was not the first we had with Nikolic, since we already had one in Shanghai together with representatives of PowerChina and the Shanghai Stock Exchange, whose representatives expressed their readiness to participate in the implementation of the project in Serbia,” Li said.