Putin ‘ready to go to Washington’, invites Trump to Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 10th BRICS Summit held in Sandton Johannesburg

"I told him about this", Putin said at a news conference at an worldwide summit in Johannesburg on Friday, referring to the possibility of a Trump visit to Moscow.

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This comes just days after Putin said he is not yet ready to visit the White House, despite the clarification he would, only if certain conditions are satisfied.

Both Trump and Putin have said they are determined to improve relations.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says in a statement that Trump "looks forward to having President Putin to Washington after the first of the year" and "is open to visiting Moscow upon receiving a formal invitation".

He was referring to the federal investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign assisted or was aware of the efforts. He also said that it was in the interests of Russian Federation and the USA to extend arms control treaties. No policy changes came out of the summit, Mattis said on Friday, adding he had also not been given new direction on Syria. Trump frequently answers reporters' questions even as staffers try to usher them out of the room, creating sometimes-chaotic scenes where low-level press officers shout at reporters as the president tries to speak. Trump has vented to aides, an unnamed former White House official told the Post.

It would be Mr Trump's first visit to Moscow since 2013, when he took the Miss Universe beauty pageant, which he then owned, to the Russian capital.

Both Mr Putin and Mr Trump deny the allegations. He ratcheted up his frequent, public praise of the USA president, describing him as a rare politician who keeps his campaign promises.

Trump was meeting Friday with his national security team to discuss threats to the 2018 congressional midterm elections, the first such session he has convened amid warnings from intelligence officials that Russian Federation is again intent on interfering in the USA democratic process. A CNN report said his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen planned to tell Mueller that Trump did know of the meeting.

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