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Trump has invited Putin to visit White House, Kremlin says

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump during a photo session of world leaders on the closing day of the 25th APEC Summit on Nov. 11, 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam. (Metzel Mikhail/TASS/Zuma Press/TNS)
April 02, 2018

President Donald Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the White House, but no plans are in the works just yet, according to new reports.

It was reported Monday that during their phone conversation on March 20, when Trump called Putin to congratulate him on winning the Russian election, the two discussed meeting in person.

Trump invited Putin to come to the White House, Russian news agencies said Monday, citing Putin aide Yuri Ushakov.

“Ushakov added that their governments didn’t have time to start arranging a meeting before the United States joined Britain and more than two dozen allies in sanctioning Russia over the nerve-agent poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in England,” the Associated Press reported.

Russia last week said it will expel 60 U.S. diplomats from its country – the same number of diplomats that the United States expelled earlier in response to Moscow’s use of a nerve agent to try and kill a Russian ex-spy and his daughter.

Russia will also close down the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg, it said, as well as expel the same number of diplomats from other countries who also kicked out Russian diplomats.

The U.S. last Monday expelled 60 Russian diplomats and announced it will close the Russian consulate in Seattle, Washington, after Russia is accused of deliberately trying to poison an ex-spy in the U.K.

Forty-eight diplomats are being told to leave the Russian embassy and 12 must leave the United Nations. The diplomats and their families have been given one week to leave the country.

There are reportedly about 100 Russian intelligence officers in the U.S., which makes this expulsion especially significant.

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Theresa May retaliated against Russia and announced the country is kicking out 23 Russian diplomats following the nerve agent poison attack on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter.

Russia is suspected of the attempted assassination of a former spy and his daughter, after they were both found poisoned in England last month.

Russia said the accusations were “nonsense,” and it a few weeks ago ignored a midnight deadline to explain how the nerve agent was used in the attack.