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Putin meets with security council chief ahead of talks with Bolton

Russian President Vladimir Putin and National Security Adviser John Bolton meet in Russia. (Russian Embassy/Facebook)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin has met with his Security Council to discuss Moscow’s relations with Washington — a day before a meeting in Geneva between Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin’s August 22 meeting with Patrushev and the rest of his Security Council took place in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Peskov said Patrushev and Bolton would discuss “a lot of issues and they are sensitive.”

The Kremlin spokesman said bilateral relations between Washington and Moscow “continue to degrade, so there is a need to search for common ground, trying to understand if it is possible at all and if the other party is willing at all.”

Patrushev’s planned meeting with Bolton on August 23 is the first official follow-up to a July summit in Helsinki between Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Bolton on August 22 said during a visit to Israel that Russian military forces were “stuck” in Syria at the moment.

But Peskov challenged Bolton’s remarks, saying: “It is not correct for anyone, let alone our counterparts in Washington, to claim that Russia is stuck someplace. Let us not forget that U.S. military personnel are present on Syrian soil, too.”