Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked Austria's chancellor to organize a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Vienna this summer and the White House is pondering the offer, a senior European official said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reviews a guard of honor upon Putin's arrival at Hofburg palace on June 5, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.
The Russian president said he was not planning to withdraw his military forces from Syria and would remain there as long as their presence serves Russia's interests.
"Indeed, Donald Trump and I have, firstly, met a couple of times at various global venues", Putin said according to an official transcript available on the Kremlin's website.
The Russian leader was responding to a question about special counsel Robert Mueller 's February indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian organizations when he brought up his relationship with the American president.
He said that in a recent phone call: "Donald said he was anxious about the possibility of a new arms race".
He also addressed the possibility of a summit between the US and Russian Federation.
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Mr. Putin has even called Mr. Kurz a "friend" and, given Europe's mounting anger with Mr. Trump, the Russian leader has spotted a chance to drive a wedge between the European Union and the US. "I think this is the main reason".
According to CNN, the pace of Trump-Putin calls is roughly equivalent to the number of phone calls Obama held with Putin in his final two years in office.
With respect to Russia's involvement in Syria's war, Putin did not reveal his hand, stating that the status quo would prevail for now.
Putin had another "I told you so" message for Russian businessmen, saying he had previously warned them about the risks of keeping their assets overseas and that they were now being persecuted by countries such as Britain.
During his four hour-plus Q & A in Moscow on Thursday, Putin was asked which world leaders he addresses using the informal version of you - "ty" - as opposed to the formal 'vy'.
Putin said "unilateral sanctions do not resolve problems" and insisted they were imposed because "Russia is seen as a threat, because Russian Federation is seen as becoming a competitor".
What about accusations of Russian meddling in the USA election? Putin and his aides say it is an indispensable tool to gauge public sentiment and learn what people's real problems are. "The Department of State would tell you that it has no relation to that, it's Mr. Soros' private business". With us, it is Mr. Prigozhin's private affair.