For the first time,the two heads of super popwer states US and Russia have been cited shaking hands at the start of a G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. They will hold a longer meeting later, and say they want to repair ties damaged by a crises including Russia’s alleged meddling in the US election.
Climate change and trade are set to dominate as the two-day summit opens, with mass protests in the streets. Clashes at a “Welcome to Hell” rally left 76 police officers injured. By choosing to hold the summit in Hamburg, Germany’s northern hi-tech powerhouse, Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking to show mass protests can be tolerated in an open democracy, correspondents say.
However, several events related to the summit were disrupted, US First Lady Melania Trump was unable to leave her hotel because of demonstrators, according to Germany’s DPA news agency.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble cancelled an event with school pupils due to the security situation in the city. A brief video clip posted on the German government’s Facebook page shows the two men shaking hands, and Mr Trump patting Mr Putin’s arm as they smile in the company of other leaders.
According to NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander, it is likely that only four other people will be present at the meeting: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and two interpreters. It is unclear if they will speak to reporters afterwards or to what extent media will be admitted to the meeting. After phone calls between the leaders in January and May, the White House and Kremlin released summaries of the conversations.