Trump, Putin could have meeting before July

A range of worldwide issues can not be settled unless Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump have direct communication, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday.

Officials said there is talk about a potential meeting between the two leaders prior to the summit, Reuters reported.

Trump spoke with Putin on the phone on January 28 for the first time since the former was elected last November.

Both Putin and Trump have repeatedly said they want to try to mend US-Russian relations, which were severely damaged under the previous president.

"To start with, we must fix the date and time of a meeting between the two Presidents". Putin said Friday that he would be open to having his first meeting with Trump in Slovenia.

While Trump has repeatedly spoken of his desire to mend relations with Russia, he has also mentioned the possibility of lifting the sanctions against Russia, which were imposed by the Obama administration following the referendum leading to Crimea being accepted into the Russian Federation, slammed as "annexation" by both the U.S. and the EU. "We are working on it now", Lavrov said.

Moscow on Monday backed national security adviser Mike Flynn, saying he never improperly discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

"Aides are working on this now", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a press conference.

Asked if there had been talks between any Russian and USA representatives on easing sanctions, Peskov said: "We have already said there have not been any (such talks)".

"Naturally, we are closely monitoring Washington's worldwide contacts, we register the contacts that are carried out", Peskov told reporters when asked to asses U.S. contacts with Japan and China.

  • Leroy Wright