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Putin vows to mend ties with US

By REN QI | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-16 09:14

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo greet each other prior to their talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russia, May 14, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is willing to mend ties with the United States and build up cooperation. He made the remark after meeting with visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.

Before a closed-door meeting with Pompeo, Putin said he had an impression from a phone call with the US President Donald Trump on May 3 that the latter is willing to improve the US-Russia relations and jointly resolve issues of mutual interest.

"For our part, we have repeatedly said that we would also like to restore the relationship in full format. I hope that now the necessary conditions are being created," Putin told Pompeo.

Xinhua News Agency reported that Putin praised special counsel Robert Mueller for "an objective investigation" that confirmed the absence of all traces of collusion between Russia and the US government.

He said Russia and the US have common interests in maintaining strategic stability, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, resolving regional crises, fighting organized crime, solving environmental problems, working together in an anti-poverty and economic partnership.

Pompeo, whose visit was the first to Russia in the capacity of secretary of State, said that Washington and Moscow have different positions on some issues, but they also share interests and have potential to cooperate and work productively.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said that despite that the US side displaying a constructive approach during the meeting, there was no breakthrough.

"They mostly focused on international issues, of course, in particular, as I wrote down, issues of strategic stability, issues of disarmament and nonproliferation (of weapons of mass destruction) and pressing regional issues," Ushakov said.

"Among them are the situation around Syria, around North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, Venezuela," he added.

Ushakov said that the May 3 telephone conversation between Putin and Trump "was very good", and Putin's meeting with Pompeo was a continuation of that conversation.

Putin and Pompeo discussed the possibility of having a Putin-Trump meeting during the upcoming G20 Summit in Japan in June, and Moscow expects concrete proposals, Russia's Tass News Agency reported.

"We are ready for any contacts. We can organize a meeting 'on the go' with President Trump. Alternatively, we can sit down for a more comprehensive discussion. Everything will depend on what our US partners want," Ushakov said.

He also noted that "there was no personal message from Putin to Trump".

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