Putin “is ready to go to Washington,” Trump “open” to a visit to Moscow

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump have made exchange of amiability Friday in preparation for their next meeting, ten days after their first summit, russia’s president is saying “ready to come to Washington” and its american counterpart “open” to a visit to Moscow. “We are ready to invite the president Trump to Moscow, he has this invitation, I told him about it. I am willing to travel to Washington,” said Mr. Putin at a press conference in Johannesburg on the sidelines of the Brics summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). “But I repeat once again, (only) if the appropriate conditions for work are put in place there,” he warned.

The White House was immediately informed that the u.s. president was open to the idea of going to Moscow. “The president Trump looks forward to welcoming president Putin to Washington after the New year, and it is open to a visit to Moscow after the receipt of a formal invitation,” said the executive to the u.s. in a press release. The first summit of the two leaders was held on 16 July in Helsinki. It caused an uproar in the United States, where the declarations of the american president were considered to be too conciliatory vis-à-vis its Russian counterpart. For his part, Vladimir Putin has deemed the talks “very successful”, while Donald Trump has called “a great success”.

These meetings with Mr Trump are “useful,” insisted Friday, Mr. Putin. “Contacts at the highest political level are needed,” he stressed, assuring that the two leaders “can’t discuss anything by phone”. The master of the Kremlin has cited among the topics of discussion, the treaty of reducing the number of nuclear weapons between Russia and the United States, the New START, which expires in 2021.

“Are we going to extend or not? (…) If one does not start negotiations today, in 2021, the treaty will cease to exist,” said Mr Putin. Originally planned for the autumn in Washington, the next summit Trump-Putin will finally take place “next year”, announced Wednesday, the White House. Reason: the investigation into the interference in Russian in the presidential election of 2016 in the United States and on suspicion of collusion between the team of the candidate Trump and the Kremlin of Vladimir Putin, called it “a witch hunt” by the White House, must be closed to not interfere with the exchanges.

“Regardless of the difficulties”

Mr. Putin, however, has referred to Friday as “possible contacts at international forums,” while the two presidents are expected to peak in November, in the Pacific (Apec), and then in Argentina for the G20. Mr. Putin has also praised his u.s. counterpart: “the great quality of the president Trump is that he seeks to fulfill his promises to american voters”. On the 16th of July in Helsinki, MR Putin and Trump posted a rare unit during their joint press conference, including on charges of interference with Russian in the us presidential election, rejected by Moscow.

“No matter the difficulties, which are here of the difficulties in the life, domestic policy of the United States, life goes on and our contacts are continuing,” said Friday, Mr Putin. According to the Russian ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, the two men have discussed the eastern Ukraine during their interview, and Vladimir Putin has put forward “concrete proposals”. Among them, reported the information agency Bloomberg, is the organisation of a referendum in the separatist regions of the East to put an end to the conflict. It would focus on the status of the republics autoproclamées of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are beyond the control of Kiev. When asked about this idea already rejected by Washington, Mr Putin refused on Friday to comment: “It is a very sensitive subject, which needs to be studied and worked more”.

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