White House included in "potential venues" for discussed Trump-Putin meeting

White House included in

US President Donald Trump has invited Vladimir Putin to the White House, a senior Russian diplomat has revealed.

"We have nothing further to add at this time".

However, no preparations for a possible meeting have been discussed since the March 20 telephone call, Putin's aide said.

Trump made the offer during a phone call between the two leaders, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov confirmed. Ushakov said that the US and Russian governments didn't have time to start arranging the meeting before the USA announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats, the AP reported.

Trump extended that olive branch during last month's controversial call in which he also congratulated Putin - despite his advisers' reported warnings - on winning re-election. The last time Putin visited 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. was in 2005 during George W. Bush's presidency. Washington expelled 60 Russian diplomats and closed Russian consulate in Seattle in face of fear that it would be used as a base for espionage.




During the call, Mr Trump did not raise Russia's suspected involvement in the poisoning of the former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain, which happened two weeks earlier.

The U.S-Russia expulsions - together, one of the largest since 1986 - threaten to uproot how the two countries have worked together in numerous delicate global situations, including the conflict in Syria and nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

With the first lady and a bespectacled Easter Bunny at his side, the president raved about the "perfect weather" and touted the US economy and military, calling this a "special year". Moscow responded with departure of same number of U.S. diplomats in Russian Federation and ordered closure of American consulate in St. Petersburg.

Some Republican lawmakers criticized Trump for making the congratulatory call to Putin. The US President then tweeted that to have good relations with Russian Federation "is good, not bad". The talks were a prelude to Trump's first meeting with Putin at the Group of 20 summit last July.

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