Kremlin Says Putin-Trump Meeting in the Works

MOSCOW (AP/Reuters) -
President Donald Trump (L-R), joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, speaks by phone with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House, Jan. 28. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

The spokesman for Vladimir Putin says a meeting between the Russian president and President Donald Trump is in the works.

Trump and Putin had a much-anticipated hour-long discussion on Saturday, the first since Trump assumed office last week.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday lauded the phone call as a “good, constructive conversation” but dismissed suggestions that Trump and Putin may have reached deals in that phone call. Peskov said Kremlin and White House staff have been instructed to prepare a meeting between the two leaders and added that the leaders could reach practical agreements only after they see each other.

“(But) it’s hardly possible to talk about any kind of deals (over sanctions),” said Peskov.

“To start with we must fix the date and time of a meeting between the two presidents. Aides are working on this now,” he said, adding that a meeting could happen before a G20 summit scheduled to take place in Hamburg on July 7-8.

Peskov said that Putin and Trump had not discussed sanctions in their phone call on Saturday, their first conversation since Trump’s inauguration.

But, he said: “We have seen a readiness to solve difficult problems through dialogue, which President Putin has long been calling for and unfortunately in previous years did not find a response (to).”

Speaking earlier in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the conversation showed that Russian and American interests “overlap in a number of areas” including fighting terrorism.