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Putin hopes to meet Trump at Moscow’s Victory Day celebrations

President Donald Trump meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, July 7, 2017. (Kremlin/Released)

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he currently has no plans to meet Donald Trump, but that he hoped the U.S. president would come to Russia next year to mark Victory Day on May 9.

Noting that the United States “made a significant contribution to the fight against Nazism,” Putin told reporters on November 14 that Trump’s attendance at the celebrations marking the 1945 Allied victory over Nazi Germany “would be the right and correct step.”

“It’s not for us to decide. But if the U.S. president arrives, surely, he and I will meet in Moscow,” Putin said at a summit of the BRICS grouping of countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Putin’s invitation comes amid persistent tensions between Russia and the United States and its allies over issues including the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts and Moscow’s meddling into other countries’ elections.

Last week, Trump said he was weighing up an invitation from Putin to attend the Victory Day parade in Moscow next year.

Trump said the annual event fell “right in the middle of political season,” so he was not sure he would be able to attend.