Putin ‘ready to go to Washington’, invites Trump to Moscow

Minnie Murray
July 28, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he had invited Donald Trump to Moscow and that both he and the USA president want further summits, despite the uproar in Washington after the two leaders met in Helsinki last week.

Her statement was in response to Mr Putin, who earlier had said at a news conference in South Africa that he was "ready" for a follow-up meeting with President Trump.

"We are ready to invite President Trump to Moscow", he added, according to the state news agency RIA-Novosti.

Putin said on Friday that he has already invited Trump to Moscow, and that he is "ready to come to Washington" to meet with Trump.

After the Helsinki summit, Trump was criticized at home for failing to publicly confront Putin over Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and for seeming to contradict his own intelligence agencies on the threat from Russian Federation.

Putin said Friday, "I understand very well what President Trump said: He has the wish to conduct further meetings".

A USA special counsel is now investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian spies to manipulate the vote. I am ready for that.

Putin said he and Trump have important matters to discuss, including Iran, the war in Syria, and the looming expiration of the New Start nuclear arms control treaty in 2021.

The White House Correspondents' Association also issued a harshly worded statement condemning "the White House's misguided and inappropriate decision.to bar one of our members from an open press event after she asked questions they did not like". Trump has denied the allegations.

Trump has been widely criticized for failing to strongly denounce Russia's election interference and appearing to accept Putin's denials during their joint press conference in Helsinki.

Trump was meeting Friday with his national security team to discuss threats to the 2018 congressional midterm elections, the first such session he has convened amid warnings from intelligence officials that Russian Federation is again intent on interfering in the USA democratic process.

"To be clear, we support a free press and ask that everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House", she said.

Ryan has said he did not speak to the president in the days after the Helsinki summit.

Mr Putin did not detail what "conditions" would have to be met.

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