March 21, 2019

Trump 'open' to visiting Moscow for meeting with Putin

28 July 2018, 02:27 | Silvia Roy

In his remarks Friday in South Africa at a summit for leaders of developing nations, Putin said the high-level dialogue between Moscow and Washington was continuing in spite of the harsh reaction to Mr. Trump's Helsinki performance in the U.S. When the Kremlin seemed cool to the idea, the White House backed away, suggesting that the two men should wait to meet until "after the Russian Federation witch hunt is over", as national security adviser John Bolton put it. Bolton added that the two countries had agreed to put off the meeting until "after the first of the year".

US President Donald Trump is "open" to travelling to Moscow after a surprise invite from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House has said.

But shouldn't some presidential meetings remain private?

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"Despite the difficulties, in this particular case difficulties linked to the internal political situation in the United States, life goes on and our contacts continue", the Russian leader said. "I am ready for this". "We are ready for such meetings".

Trump and Putin may meet on the sidelines of an worldwide conference at some point, the Russian government had said, but the upshot of Friday's back-and-forth was that both leaders want another bilateral summit as well at some point. "By the way, he has such an invitation, I told him of this".

A White House statement said the meeting addressed threats to elections "from malign foreign actors" and efforts on providing cyber security assistance to state and local authorities.

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There, Trump was widely criticized for appearing to back Putin's denial that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 US election - statements Trump subsequently walked back. "I repeat once again, if the right conditions for work are created".

Both Mr Putin and Mr Trump deny the allegations.

Banned, blocked, disinvited or unwelcomed, the result was that Collins was unable to attend a news conference with Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

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He said he wanted to talk about the controversial Iran nuclear deal, saying: "It's a subject for debate and negotiations". However, efforts to achieve a detente have been fiercely resisted by the USA lawmakers, including some in Trump's own Republican Party, who accuse him of being too friendly towards Putin. "There are some things you can't do over the phone", he added.

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