Putin, Trump to hold summit amid push for better relations

Moscow and Washington have struck a deal to hold a summit soon between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump.

MOSCOW • Russia and the United States reached an agreement on a summit between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, a senior Kremlin official said yesterday, as both sides sought to reverse the downward spiral in relations.

Russia announced the deal after Mr Putin hosted US National Security Adviser John Bolton for talks in Moscow. An official said the exact date and place for the summit will be released today.

The summit "is of huge significance", Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov said.

The unusually warm discussions at the Kremlin came amid the worst tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals since the Cold War, and relentless pressure on Mr Trump over the investigation into alleged Russian involvement in his 2016 presidential victory.

Still, Mr Trump has pushed for improving the relationship - inviting Mr Putin to the White House in a March phone call. The mere fact of the summit is a boost for Kremlin efforts to ease its international isolation, though officials had played down hopes of any breakthrough.

"Your visit to Moscow gives us hope that we can make at least the first steps towards restoring full-scale relations between our countries," Mr Putin told Mr Bolton.

"It's great to be back in Moscow," Mr Bolton replied, adding that he hoped to discuss "how to improve Russia-US relations, find the areas where we can agree".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2018, with the headline 'Putin, Trump to hold summit amid push for better relations'. Print Edition | Subscribe