In Moscow, US senator hopes for "new day" in US-Russia ties

Clay Curtis
July 4, 2018

At least one topic of discussion appears off the table for President Donald Trump's upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin: Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

USA officials have given conflicting signals as to whether Trump will raise with Putin the question of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

"There are some common interests around the world that we can hopefully work together on", the delegation's head, Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, said at the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"I think it's always a good idea to sit down and talk, especially with our adversaries", said Napper, who is also a former ambassador to both Latvia and Kazakhstan. The U.S. congressional delegation is scheduled to meet with senior Russian officials amid preparations for a summit between the nations' presidents.

The Kremlin said Putin did not plan to meet United States politicians who are visiting Russian Federation this week.

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"So we're hoping that coming out of the Putin-Trump meeting in Helsinki will be the beginning, maybe, of a new day".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, shakes hands with U.S. Sen.

Putin has "repeatedly stated and explained that Crimea can not be and will never be on the agenda because it is an inseparable part of Russia", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Yet Trump's push for a quick summit with Putin has equally alarmed traditional US allies, with whom Trump has clashed over issues such as funding for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and the Iran nuclear deal, among other issues.

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