MOSCOW — The spokesman for Vladimir Putin says a meeting between the Russian president and U.S. President Donald Trump is in the works.
Trump and Putin had a much-anticipated hour-long discussion on Saturday, the first since Trump assumed office last week.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday lauded the phone call as a “good, constructive conversation” but dismissed suggestions of Trump and Putin may have reached deals in that phone call. Peskov said Kremlin and White House staff have been instructed to prepare a meeting between the two leaders and added that the leaders could reach practical agreements only after they see each other.
After Trump’s phone call with Putin, congressional Republicans made clear they oppose any attempt by the new administration to wipe away U.S. penalties imposed on Moscow by the Obama White House.
“I’m absolutely opposed to lifting sanctions on the Russians,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Sunday. “If anything, we ought to be looking at increasing them.”
The White House said the issue of sanctions wasn’t discussed during Saturday’s nearly one-hour conversation, which both sides described in positive terms.
Speaking earlier in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the conversation showed that Russia and American interests “overlap in a number of areas,” including fighting terrorism.