Donald Trump speaks at a gathering (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Trump Told Putin He'd Visit Moscow After U.S. Talks, Lavrov Says

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump told Vladimir Putin he’d visit Moscow as he extended an invitation to the Kremlin leader to hold talks in Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The U.S. president told Putin “he’d be happy to see him in the White House and then would be happy to meet again in a reciprocal visit” to Russia, Lavrov told state-run RIA Novosti news service in a televised interview broadcast on Friday. “He came back to this topic several times.”

Trump’s invitation came during a call to congratulate Putin on winning re-election to a fourth presidential term last month. Since then, the U.S. has imposed the toughest sanctions yet on Russia, sending its financial markets into a tailspin and prompting threats of retaliation from lawmakers. Tensions also surged as Trump ordered air strikes last week on Russia’s Syrian ally for an alleged chemical weapons attack. Even so, Putin’s ordered officials to dial down talk of confrontation as he seeks to give Trump another chance to make good on pledges to improve relations.

Putin’s willing to meet Trump, though there’ve been no preparations for a summit so far, Lavrov said. “We let our American colleagues know that while we don’t want to be overly persistent, we also don’t want to be impolite,” Lavrov said. “So considering that President Trump made this invitation, we expect that he’ll be more specific about it.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.