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Recall, trump and Putin will be held on 16 July in Helsinki. The two figures have met twice before with their last meeting dating November during an Asia-Pacific summit.

President Putin had admitted the United States and Russian relations were in bad shape and that his meeting with Bolton increased hopes for restoration.

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One, Thursday, July 5, 2018, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., en route to a rally in Great Falls, Mont.

Ahead of the North Korea summit, some US officials expressed concern about a meeting without any other aides present.

During the telephone conversation on the initiative of the US side, the foreign ministers discussed the preparations of the upcoming contact between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his USA counterpart Donald Trump, as well as prospects for further building bilateral relations, including in the area of strategic stability, according to a ministry statement.

Comments from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday that the two leaders were likely to meet alone without their aides before the start of the official summit are all but certain to feed the anxieties of Trump's critics.

John Bolton, US National Security Adviser, emphasized that sanctions imposed after Crimea invasion were not part of the discussions during the summit.

During their phone call, Pompeo and Lavrov also discussed issues related to Syria and North Korea, said the State Department.

The White House said on Monday that the United States does not recognize Russia's alleged "attempt" on Crimea, and its sanctions on Russian Federation will remain in place.

But Trump's critics worry that established U.S. policy positions and the advice of top officials may not mean much when the President gets in a room with Putin. Trump pulled the USA out of the deal earlier this year.


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