News ID: 216465
Published: 0120 GMT June 10, 2018

Putin says ready to meet Trump 'as soon as' US is ready

Putin says ready to meet Trump 'as soon as' US is ready

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday said he was ready to meet his US counterpart Donald Trump as soon as Washington was ready, adding Vienna could be a possible venue for such a summit.

"As soon as the American side is ready this meeting would take place depending on my working schedule of course," Putin told reporters in the Chinese city of Qingdao, AFP reported.

"The US president himself repeatedly said that he would consider such a meeting helpful. I can confirm this. It's true," Putin said.

He said he did not discuss a possible meeting venue with Trump but "many" countries including Austria were keen to help in organizing such a summit.

"But I believe it's a technical issue," he said.

"It's important for such meetings – if they take place – to have concrete contents."

The Wall Street Journal, citing a senior European official, reported that Putin asked Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on a visit to Vienna earlier this week to help organize such a meeting and that Washington was considering it.

Under the conservative Kurz, Austria has strived to act as a mediator between Russia and the West.

While the EU-state imposed sanctions on Russia over Crimea along with the rest of the bloc, Austria did not expel Russian diplomats like other Western nations following the March poisoning of a Russian former double agent and his daughter in Britain, an attack London has accused Moscow of being behind.

Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in Salisbury on March 4, after they were poisoned with what London said was a Russian-made nerve agent.

Moscow denied any involvement and suggested Britain had carried out the attack to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

Washington and its allies had already levied broad economic sanctions against Russia over its alleged support for pro-Russia forces in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia after a referendum in 2014.


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