Kremlin says Trump-Putin summit a go after Bolton visit

Vladimir Putin

The synchronized announcement comes a day after Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks with Russian officials in Moscow to lay the groundwork for the summit.

Pompeo's comments Wednesday to the Senate Appropriations Committee came as Trump's national security adviser John Bolton met in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin to prepare for a summit between the two leaders next month in Europe.

One reporter asked Bolton whether he felt it was appropriate for Trump and Putin to meet given that Russian Federation has not changed any of its behavior in the past. Mr Trump, who has said he wants better relations with Russian Federation, last met Mr Putin in November in Vietnam on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit.

The discussions touched on the state of bilateral ties, nuclear arms control, the situation in Syria, the Ukrainian crisis, developments around North Korea and the USA exit from the Iranian nuclear deal - topics Ushakov said would shape the summit agenda.

Bolton, previously known for his hawkish reputation and tough stance on Moscow, said it was important to keep talking and complimented Putin on his handling of the football World Cup, now taking place in Russian Federation.

The Austrian capital of Vienna had been also discussed as a potential site for the meeting, but officials said that idea has been abandoned.

Trump already has a scheduled visit to Europe next month, when North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is holding a summit in Belgium and he is likely to take a detour to make his first presidential visit to the United Kingdom. The two leaders may issue a "joint statement" at the summit "outlining further steps to improve relations", the Russians said in their statements.

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Ties between Washington and Moscow have been strained by the wide-ranging probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign as well as the poisoning case of a former Russian spy.

Bolton added that "President Trump feels very strongly on that subject".

One topic that did not surface at the Bolton meeting, according to the Kremlin: Sanctions on Russian Federation over its activities in Ukraine and its US election activities. He said Washington was "trying to find places where we had overlapping interests, but protecting American interest where we do not".

Speaking to reporters after the talks, Putin's foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov, said the summit would take place in a location "very convenient for both us and the USA side".

The conference would take place in a third country convenient to both leaders according to reports.

"I think all se issues will be raised", Bolton said.

The US adviser said that he would like to hear Mr Putin's account of "how you handled the World Cup so successfully" in anticipation of the United States co-hosting the 2026 World Cup.

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