Trump, Putin Discussed 'Concrete Proposals' On Ukraine, Envoy Says

Trump has often criticised Merkel

The chancellor, a conservative who grew up in Communist East Germany, instead welcomed Trump's invitation to Putin to meet in Washington this autumn and said it should become normal again for US and Russian leaders to meet.

Ahead of the summit, Ukraine had expressed concerns that the USA and Russian leaders could strike a "grand bargain" on the conflict without consulting Kiev.

"The Summit with Russian Federation was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media", he twittered on Thursday.

The U.S. and Russia have been on opposing sides of the conflict in Ukraine, unleashed after a popular uprising against a pro-Russian president and Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014. Trump said he'd give the ball to his 12-year-old son Barron, a soccer fan.

US Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted yesterday announcing that President Trump had asked for Putin to be invited to Washington this autumn.

Merkel: Europe can't rely on US ‘superpower'

The announcement appeared to come as a surprise to US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who was told about it during a live interview at the Aspen Security Forum in the state of Colorado.

But, he added, "Russia was always open to such proposals".

Russia's Defense Ministry said it sent detailed proposals to Washington on organizing the return of more than 1.7 million refugees to Syria after agreements reached by Putin and Trump, RIA news agency said.

The interview was conducted after Trump met Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin told Russian diplomats on Thursday that US-Russian relations are "in some ways worse than during the Cold War", but that the meeting with Trump allowed a start on "the path to positive change".

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Controversy has raged over the Helsinki summit, with Mr Trump having to correct his own words from the press conference which followed it.

White House officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Bloomberg reported. US intelligence agencies accuse Putin of directing interference to sway the election against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton toward Republican Trump.

There was further confusion after the White House said Mr Trump "disagrees" with Mr Putin's offer to allow U.S. questioning of 12 Russians accused of election meddling in exchange for Russian interviews with the former United States ambassador to Russia and other Americans the Kremlin has linked to unspecified crimes.

At the same forum in Colorado, deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein released a 156-page report detailing a strategy to combat future attempts by foreign governments to influence U.S. elections, including by revealing them to the public.

Antonov said Moscow is working to return her to Russian Federation.

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The White House is still trying to clean up post-summit Trump statements on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"Look at the diplomats I threw out", Trump added, referring to the 60 diplomats expelled from the U.S. in March after the alleged poisoning of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK.

Moscow's takeover of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine prompted the United States, the European Union, and others to impose sanctions on Russian Federation. What happened during the one-on-one between Trump and Putin with only interpreters present remains unknown.

Gen. Joseph Leonard Votel of U.S. Central Command said Thursday he has received no new orders regarding Syria.

Trump Promises 'Big Results' From Controversial Putin Summit
But he refused to reverse other comments in which he backed Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denial of Russian involvement. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump was trying to "squirm away" from his comments alongside Putin.

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