Putin-Trump call set for Saturday

(Dmitry Lovetsky, AP)
(Dmitry Lovetsky, AP)

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to speak by phone with US President Donald Trump over the weekend, the Kremlin said on Friday.

Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the conversation is scheduled for Saturday. They last spoke when Putin congratulated Trump on his victory shortly after his election.

Peskov said that Putin wants to congratulate Trump on taking office, adding that the two leaders are also expected to "exchange views about main parameters of current bilateral relations."

He wouldn't elaborate on what specific issues could be discussed and wouldn't say if the two leaders could use the call to agree on a meeting.

The Kremlin has applauded Trump's promises to mend ties with Moscow, which have plunged to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the US elections. Russian officials and lawmakers have warned, however, that rebuilding ravaged ties will take time.

Barack Obama's administration and the European Union slapped Moscow with sanctions for its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and support for a pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

The restrictions have limited Russian companies' access to international financial markets and barred key technology transfers, helping drive the Russian economy into recession. Russia has responded by banning imports of most Western agricultural products.

Asked about the claims that Trump was considering an order to lift the US sanctions against Russia, Peskov said he has no information about it.

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