Russia Urges Trump, Putin Summit After U.S. Rebuff of Iran Deal

(Bloomberg) -- A summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin is “extremely important” to safeguard global stability in the wake of the American president’s decision to quit the Iran nuclear agreement, according to a top Russian diplomat in charge of relations with the U.S.

“A summit meeting, of course, could seriously help to limit its negative consequences and give diplomacy another chance” even though Trump’s move “won’t be reconsidered,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Bloomberg News on Wednesday. Ryabkov, who will travel to Tehran Thursday for meetings with top Iranian officials, represented Russia at the six-party talks with the Islamic Republic.

The world’s two biggest nuclear powers remain locked in a standoff more than a year after Trump’s election raised the prospect of improved ties. The U.S. leader proposed a meeting with Putin when he called the Russian president in March to congratulate him on re-election, inviting him to Washington. Still, no progress has been made on setting a date for the talks as broader relations deteriorate amid intensifying U.S. sanctions imposed over allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential vote.

The U.S. leader’s announcement on Tuesday that he’s pulling out of the landmark 2015 deal to limit Iran’s nuclear activities and reimposing financial sanctions on Tehran has sparked fears of more chaos in the Middle East. Trump’s political opponents said it risks dragging America into a war, and European allies reacted with dismay after fighting to salvage the agreement.

‘Aggressive Nationalism’

Putin warned of the threat of “aggressive nationalism” and “claims to exceptionalism” at a World War II victory parade in Red Square on Wednesday. “All humankind and countries need to recognize that the world is very fragile,” he said.

Russia negotiated the nuclear framework with Iran together with France, Germany, the U.K., the U.S. and China. The European Union, Russia and China have all said they remain committed to the agreement.

A U.S.-Russia summit would provide a “signal” to the entire government apparatus in both countries about the readiness for dialogue, Ryabkov said.

“It’s necessary from all points of view, especially since the presidents in their phone conversation underlined the need to resolve accumulated problems in the sphere of strategic stability,” he said.

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