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US invites Putin to Washington in early 2019

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Washington, Oct 29: The Donald Trump Administration has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to pay a visit to Washington in early 2019 even as the relations between the US and Russia continue to witness rough times.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

The invitation was announced by US National Security Advisor John Bolton during a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, just days after he met Putin and other Russian officials in Moscow to discuss the USA's withdrawing from the INF Treaty of the Cold War era.

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"We have invited President Putin to Washington after the first of the year for basically a full day of consultations. What the schedule of that is, we do not quite know yet," the NSA, who is known to be ultra-hawkish, said.

In Tbilisi, Bolton also said in an interview with Reuters that it would be helpful if Russia moved out of Ukraine's Crimea and eastern Ukraine and stopped meddling in the American elections and also remained less interfering in the Middle East.

The last summit between Trump and Putin which was held in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16 sparked a major controversy, especially over the former's comments over Russia's alleged involvement in the USA's presidential election in 2016 that even did not go well with members of the Republican Party which is Trump's own.

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If Putin's visit materialises, then it would be his first to the US since 2015 when he met Trump's predecessor Barack Obama. He, however, visited the White House last when George W Bush was the president of the US.

The two leaders will have another occasion to meet in November when they will be in Paris to attend a ceremony marking the end of the First World War (1914-18).

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