A meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin could occur this July — and rival the 1986 summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev that ended the Cold War, retired Army Major Gen. Paul Vallely predicts.
In an interview on "Election Central with Rita Cosby," on WABC Radio, Vallely, in Moscow on March 1 at the Valdai Discussion Club Conference, said he believes the meeting might take place before the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
"When I was in Moscow, one of the messages that I did receive that I can tell you [is] that President Putin understands from his standpoint what's going on in the United States, and that Trump should be very patient, and that Putin is willing to meet with Trump at some point in time, because... we're not going to solve the situation in Syria, the Middle East, without working with Turkey and with Russia," he told Cosby.
The message, he said, was relayed to him through an unofficial channel — a British spy Vallely knows.
"The message is, basically, Putin understands these deceptive things that are going on in the political environment in the United States, and that he'll be very patient from the standpoint of waiting, and if Trump decides, or wants to, he'll be willing to meet with him," Vallely said.
He added that the message suggested "maybe we can do a thing in Reykjavik, Iceland again, as Gorbachev and Reagan had to do when we saw the [Berlin] wall come down after that."
"So, it's more positive and I think President Trump understands that it's more positive to meet with Putin and talk about the issues at hand, rather than trying to be adversarial," Vallely said.
He said the Trump administration hasn't responded yet.
"I think they've got other things on their plate right now," he said. "But they know, and it's something that can occur.... I'd say 90 days, maybe 120. I mean, I don't know for sure, that's up to the White House... but... it would be before the G20 conference in July."
Vallely also revealed the Russians "like" Donald Trump.
"They see America finally with somebody with common sense that they can reason with," Vallely said, adding that when the Russians "tried to reach back through a number of people to the Obama administration... the Obama administration would not reach back to the Russians at all."
"And so we're getting a Reagan-esqe type of approach now with Trump, who takes politics out of it and looks how to solve the problems, and you can only do that when you can make a deal with these people, and that's what you have to do, bilateral deals."
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