Mikhail Gorbachev has urged U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to restore trust between their two countries and said their upcoming meeting should emulate the 1986 Reykjavik summit of the Soviet leader and Ronald Reagan.
Gorbachev on July 6 told Russian state news agency RIA ovosti that "above all, it is good that this meeting is finally happening -- but a shame that it is only coming now."
"A lot of time has been lost that they need to make up for,” he said. “They need to rebuild trust. So far, our countries do not have a joint constructive agenda."
Trump and Putin are to hold bilateral talks on July 7 in Hamburg, Germany, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit.
"We now need an impulse from the leaders, as happened in Reykjavik in 1986," Gorbachev said. "We must put everything on the negotiating table and establish a mechanism for interaction, not for any single items, even important, but for all problems.”
Several issues divide the two nations, although Trump has expressed desires for better relations and has often praised Putin personally.
Many U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia, most likely under Putin’s orders, interfered in the presidential campaign to boost Trump’s chances of winning. The Kremlin rejects the allegation.
In addition, the United States and its allies have imposed sanctions on Moscow for its illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine. Disputes over policies concerning Syria and North Korea also linger.