KONFRONTASI - President Vladimir Putin of Russia has called for the restoration of relations between Moscow and Washington in the interests of both nations, following a five-year period of "degradation."
Putin made the remarks at a news conference on Friday after talks with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor in the Russian capital, Moscow.
"The Russian-US relations have especially strongly degraded over the past five years, and of course they need to be restored in the interests of both the Russian and American people," Putin stated.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Putin said Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, would be a good place for a first meeting with US President Donald Trump. The Russian president, however, said the choice of venue would not be Moscow's alone.
"As regards Ljubljana, Slovenia in general, it is of course a brilliant place to have a dialogue of such a sort. But it doesn't depend only on us, it depends on a whole series of circumstances," Putin said, adding, "If these meetings ever happen, we don't have anything against Ljubljana."
Slovenia was the venue for the first meeting between former US President George W. Bush and Putin in 2001. The European Union member state is also where Melania Trump, the current US president's wife, grew up.
Trump and Putin have both said they would like to try to mend battered US-Russia relations.
The ties between the two countries fell to their lowest level since the Cold War after Ukraine's Crimea joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in 2014.[ptv]