Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday July 27th that he wanted US President Donald Trump to be his guest in Moscow, an initiative that the White House welcomed despite persistent criticism over the Helsinki summit. During a visit to South Africa for an economic conference Putin confirmed that “appropriate conditions” were required in both countries for another summit to take place, an apparent reference to the political chaos in the United States last week after the two men met in Helsinki.
The White House said Trump was enthusiastic about another summit. Trump has said he wants to improve ties between the two nuclear powers, whose relations have been at a post-Cold War low in recent years. “President Trump looks forward to having President Putin to Washington after the first of the year and he is open to visiting Moscow upon receiving a formal invitation,” White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said he was seeing the possibility of the first talks in years between the defence chiefs of the United States and Russia. However, Mattis also said there had been no decision yet, as reported by Reuters.
Trump was slammed at home for failing to confront Putin publicly over Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election and for seeming to contradict his own intelligence agencies on the threat from Russia. Trump has defended his conduct.
The White House asserted that no agreements were reached in the one-on-one meeting with Putin other than having national security teams meet. No policy changes came out of the summit, Mattis said on Friday, adding he had also not been given new direction on Syria.