Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that President Trump indicated he could visit Moscow if Russian leader Vladimir Putin comes to the United States.
Lavrov told state television that Trump mentioned the possible trip when he called Putin on March 20 to congratulate him on his re-election to another six years in office.
State-run news agency RIA Novosti, citing the foreign ministry, said Trump invited Putin to Washington and said he would be glad to see his Russian counterpart in the White House.
Lavrov, who met with Trump in Washington in May, said Russia was expecting Trump to formalize the invitation, RIA Novosti reported.
“We proceed from the fact that the U.S. president in a telephone conversation ... made such an invitation, said he would be glad to see (Putin) in the White House, would then be glad to meet on a reciprocal visit,” Lavrov said in comments posted on the foreign ministry's website.
“He returned to this topic a couple of times, so we let our American colleagues know that we do not want to impose, but we also do not want to be impolite, and that considering that President Trump made this proposal, we proceed from the position that he will make it concrete.”
Both the White House and the Kremlin previously revealed that Trump had invited Putin to the White House during the same call, when the two leaders discussed wanting to meet soon.
A visit by Putin to Washington would anger Trump's critics, amid special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible links between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russians who sought to influence the election by hacking emails and spreading fake news.
Trump has repeatedly said his campaign did not collude with Russia to gain advantage in the election. Lavrov has dismissed the meddling allegations as a baseless "claptrap."
Trump met face-to-face with Putin for the first time at the Group of 20 summit of world leaders in Hamburg, Germany, in July.
Contributing: The Associated Press
- Published in World