Friday, March 31 2017 23:30 EEST
Putin: Russia has 'a large number of friends' in the US
Putin, Russia, Large,  Number, Friends, US

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at the International Arctic Forum that Russia has a large number of friends in the United States, RBC news agency reports.

According to the Russian President, Russia is thinking about the United States as a great power with which it would be desirable to establish relations. "Everything else is a lie and a provocation," he said. He went on to further assert that the "anti-Russian card" is played within "certain groups in the United States" to "strengthen their influence."

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reported at the end of February that preparations had begun for the meeting between Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump. He noted at the time that no specific dates or meeting venue had been established. However, the Wall Street Journal reported in early March that according to a senior U.S. official, no preparations are being made at all for the meeting of the presidents.

On March 29, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the meeting between Putin and Trump would take place when it was convenient for both of them. According to him, after the presidential elections in the U.S. in November 2016, the heads of state had atelephone conversation. The conversation, according to Lavrov, went well “though in very general terms." He noted that the parties discussed the issues of the relations between Russia and the United States, as well as key international issues. The two heads of state agreed to continue to stay in touch, Lavrov added.

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