Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

As G7 feuds, Xi and Putin play up their own club

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
Steven Clarke | 11 June, 2018, 00:31

Vienna has been discussed as a possible venue for a summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, the Kremlin said Saturday.

He also said the G7 countries had "again" failed to provide any evidence that Russian Federation was behind the poisoning of a former double agent and his daughter in Britain in March.

Putin said on Sunday he thought it was important that the two men meet and said he shared Trump's concerns about the risks of an arms race developing between Russian Federation and the United States, something he said officials from the two countries needed to discuss. According to White House statements, Trump last spoke to Putin on March 20.

Russian Federation was removed from the G-8, or Group of Eight, in 2014 following the occupation and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

"The president of the United States himself has repeatedly said that he considered such a meeting appropriate, and I confirm that this is indeed the case".

Trump will skip part of the summit on Saturday as he travels to Singapore to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in hopes of resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Putin received China's first-ever friendship medal for his "outstanding contributions" to China's modernization drive and helping to maintain world peace, AFP reported.

SCO states also include four ex-Soviet central Asian republics and new members Pakistan and India.

On May 8, Trump officially withdrew the USA from the UN-endorsed nuclear agreement and plans to reimpose sanctions on Iran.

Vince Vaughn arrested in California for reported DUI
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Before the medal ceremony, Putin said the two heads of state had enjoyed "fruitful" talks.

Speaking to reporters in Qingdao, China, Putin said that some nations, including Austria, have offered to host his summit with Trump, should they have one.

Mr Xi told media after their meeting that both he and his Russian counterpart felt "the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership is mature, firm and stable".

"The Qingdao summit is a new departure point for us", he added.

Putin says Washington's decision to exit the agreement could "destabilize the situation" in the region.

"As far as I know, the USA president has stated that the United States is considering the possibility of additional regulation of deliveries of the automotive vehicles to the U.S. market".

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, whose country is an observer member, also attended the meeting as he seeks Chinese and Russian support following the United States withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran.

"The very fact that we confirm the high level of our interaction and talk about the need for its development, in my opinion, is of great importance, for contemporary worldwide relations, for Russian-Chinese relations", he said.

US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 global pact with Iran that placed limits on its nuclear programme in return for the easing of economic sanctions.

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