It began with a handshake.
Ahead of their much-anticipated face-to-face meeting Friday, President Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin warmly greeted each other at the start of the G20 conference in Germany.
Trump and Putin were spotted grinning and exchanging pleasantries as they shook hands in Hamburg Friday.
Trump, sporting a dark suit and striped tie, is seen patting Putin’s right elbow in a video posted on the German government’s Facebook page.
The President is then seen standing alongside Putin, sporting a dark blue suit and dotted tie, patting the Russian leader on the back.
Their brief encounter — flanked by other prominent world leaders — is the first documented exchange between the prominent leaders.
Trump and Putin’s meeting later Friday has dominated the coverage as this year’s G20 conference got underway.
“I look forward to all meetings today with world leaders, including my meeting with Vladimir Putin. Much to discuss,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
It comes at a time of cooled relations between the two nations. U.S. intelligence agencies have accused Russia of meddling in last year’s election, something that Putin has strongly denied. Multiple entities are investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
Trump, who previously dismissed the Kremlin involvement, in recent weeks has blamed President Obama for not retaliating harshly enough when informed of Russia’s alleged interference.
The President, as a candidate, called for better relations with Moscow, but has toed a harder line since become President.
Putin was one of several world leaders Trump mingled with Friday morning. He was also spotted greeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and French President Emmanuel Macron.
It wasn’t clear if Macron and Trump shook hands after they shared a white-knuckle embrace in May, which the French leader said afterward was meant to show Trump his strength.