image

Vladimir Putin

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

The Russian leader said phone calls are not the best way to discuss global conflicts or Iran’s nuclear deal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 8:55pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 9:29pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he had invited US leader Donald Trump to visit Moscow and was ready to travel to Washington for a new summit.

Putin and Trump met in Helsinki earlier this month, but Trump faced a storm of criticism for attending.

“I am ready to go to Washington,” Putin told reporters after a summit of the leaders of the BRICS group – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – in Johannesburg, adding he had also invited Trump to visit Moscow.

However, he said the conditions need to be right for meeting to happen.

“Regarding our meetings, I understand very well what President Trump said. He has a desire to have further meetings, to hold further meetings. I am ready for that. We need for the appropriate conditions to exist, to be created, including in our countries,” Putin told a news conference.

The Russian leader said telephone calls between Moscow and Washington were insufficient and that both sides needed to meet to talk about issues like the Iran nuclear deal and global conflicts.

Putin said in the meantime, it was possible that he and Trump would meet on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, or another international event.

“One of President Trump’s big pluses is that he strives to fulfil the promises he made to voters, to the American people,” Putin said. “As a rule, after the elections some leaders tend to forget what they promised the people but not Trump.”

In a reference to the backlash inside the US after Trump’s performance at the Helsinki summit, Putin said: “Despite the difficulties, in this particular case difficulties linked to the internal political situation in the United States, life goes on and our contacts continue.”

He also said it was in the interests of Russia and the United States to extend arms control treaties.

Putin said Russia has no plans to reject the US dollar, even though Washington has undermined trust in its currency by using it as an argument in political disputes.

“Russia isn’t abandoning the dollar,” Putin said in answer to a question about the sharp decline in its holdings of US Treasuries in April and May. “We need to minimise risks, we see what’s happening with sanctions.

“As for our American partners and the restrictions they impose involving the dollar,” he added, “I think that is a major strategic mistake because they’re undermining confidence in the dollar as a reserve currency.”

Putin also said Russia should work on limiting risks that stem from sanctions against Moscow.

Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg, Reuters