MOSCOW, Nov 11, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday he had a brief but good conversation with US leader Donald Trump at World War I centenary events in Paris, Russian media reported.
When journalists asked Putin whether he managed to speak to Trump, he said “yes”, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported. Asked how it went, Putin replied “well.”
He did not provide further details.
Around 70 leaders including the Russian and US leaders travelled to the French capital to mark the centenary of the 1918 Armistice.
Speaking to the Kremlin-backed channel RT France earlier, Putin said he would probably speak to Trump during a working dinner later Sunday.
Putin added he would likely have a full-blown meeting with Trump “on the sidelines of the G20 or later”, referring to a summit scheduled to be held in Argentina at the end of this month.
He said they agreed not to have a lengthy meeting on the sidelines of the commemorative events in Paris in a nod to the hosts.
The Kremlin said earlier that the prospect of a full meeting between the US and Russian presidents had prompted huge international media interest, leading to concern from the French organisers this could overshadow the commemorations.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader and Trump greeted each other during lunch in Paris but had no opportunity to have a full-blown meeting.
When they parted they told each other “until we meet again”, Peskov said.
Expectations have been growing for a new Trump-Putin meeting as tensions pile up over the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and US sanctions against Moscow.
Last month Trump sparked concerns globally when he said he would ditch the INF pact.
Putin warned that abandoning the treaty would unleash a new arms race and put Europe in danger.