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Finally, face to face: Trump and Putin meet in person

  • The issues on the table include terrorism, Syria and North Korea, but political analysts don't expect any significant outcome.
  • "It is likely to be very introductory with both parties attempting to establish relationship between the two leaders," one analyst says.

It's a historical meeting, the first ever face-to-face encounter between Russia's President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump.

The two briefly shook hands Friday ahead of their formal meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The sit-down is scheduled to begin before 3 p.m. London time. During their bilateral gathering, they are set to talk about terrorism, Syria and North Korea, but political analysts don't expect any significant outcome.

"The Kremlin seeks to discuss a wide range of topics from economic relations to the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, while the U.S. side prefers a loose agenda for this first official meeting," Wolfango Piccoli, co-president of Teneo Intelligence, said in a note. "It is unlikely that this closely-watched meeting will result in any tangible outcomes."

Trump said on Twitter Friday morning: "I look forward to all meetings today with world leaders, including my meeting with Vladimir Putin. Much to discuss."

Trump has said on many occasions that he thinks he'd get along well with Putin and praised the Russian leader for being a nicer person than him. However, their first encounter takes place at a time when both leaders seem to be misaligned mainly when it comes to Syria.

In April, Putin said that the relationship with the U.S. had deteriorated since Trump took office. "One could say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved, but rather has deteriorated," Putin said in an interview.

The United States has asked Russia to stop supporting the regime led by Bashar Assad in Syria. Recently, it has also asked Moscow to jointly confront North Korea's missile threat.

"The bilateral meeting between Trump and Putin will likely be brief, under one hour. It will be their first meeting, therefore it is likely to be very introductory with both parties attempting to establish relationship between the two leaders," Alex Kokcharov, principal analyst at IHS Markit, told CNBC via email.

"It is unlikely that any deals or breakthroughs will be reached," he added. "It will be a foundation for future meetings between Trump and Putin."

On Thursday, Trump accused Russia of having interfered in the 2016 presidential election but added that many others were involved, too. "Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure," he told an audience in Poland.

In the speech, Trump promised to work with Poland to address Russia's "destabilizing behavior" — something that the Kremlin quickly rebuffed.

"This is exactly why we are waiting for the first meeting of the two presidents," the Kremlin said about the need to clarify each country's position.

Putin speaks about Trump

"He is a very colorful person, talented, without any doubt," Putin said in December 2015. "It is not our business to determine his merits, that is up to U.S. voters, but he is the absolute leader in the presidential race."

More recently, Putin said of his U.S. counterpart: "He can't be put in the same category as traditional politicians. I see great advantages because he's a person with a fresh view. … Some people like him, some don't."

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