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Kremlin says Putin open to talks with Trump at upcoming events

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)
September 03, 2018

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

The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold talks with U.S. President Donald Trump at three summits by the end of this year.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview published on August 31 in the newspaper Izvestia that talks between the two leaders were possible at upcoming international events in Singapore, France, and Argentina.

According to Peskov, the Kremlin is keen to hold such talks but it “all depends on reciprocity.”

On November 11, leaders of all countries involved in World War I will gather in France to mark the centennial anniversary of the conflict’s end.

Putin and Trump are also expected to attend the East Asian summit in Singapore that runs from November 11 to November 15, as well as the two-day Group of 20 (G20) summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which starts on November 30.

Putin and Trump met for face-to-face talks on July 16 in Helsinki. Both men praised the discussion as productive and successful.

Trump, who, during his presidential campaign and into his presidency, has consistently said he seeks better relations with Russia and Putin, in particular, has faced sharp criticism from U.S. lawmakers — including key Republicans — and others who denounced his performance at a joint press conference with Putin following their Helsinki meeting.

Trump appeared to give credence to denials by Putin that Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election or was planning to act similarly in the future, despite the conclusions of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies and congressional committees that Moscow intervened in the 2016 election with a state-directed campaign of e-mail hacking and public-opinion manipulation.

Many critics also complained that there was no record of agreements, if any, that were reached between the two during their one-on-one meeting. Only translators were present for those talks and neither leader has revealed the details of the conversation.