Russia denies report about Trump, Putin meeting in Iceland
Iceland said it was not aware of any such plan but that it was willing to host a summit to help improve relations between Washington and Moscow. Photograph: (Getty)
Russia denied a report that suggested US President-elect Donald Trump was planning to hold a summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on his first foreign trip shortly after taking office.
"There have not been talks about a meeting yet," the Kremlin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA, in response to the Sunday Times report that was published on January 15.
The UK-based newspaper had said Trump was seeking to "reset" relations with the Kremlin, with Iceland the likely venue, emulating Ronald Reagan's Reykjavik meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 during the height of Cold War, the newspaper said, citing unnamed British officials.
Trump, who will be inaugurated on Friday (January 20), is planning to work on a deal limiting nuclear weapons as part of his bid to recalibrate relations between the two powers, the report went on to say.
Even Iceland said it was not aware of such plans but was willing to host a summit to help improve relations between Washington and Moscow.
"The Icelandic government has not received a query with regards to this," Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson said in reply to a question from the mbl.is news website.
"If officials in Washington DC make a formal request for the Icelandic government to organise a summit in Reykjavik we will look at it positively and make this our input to improve relations between the US and Russia, remember the summit at Hofdi house in 1986," he said.
Trump has expressed admiration for Putin, and only reluctantly accepted US intelligence's conclusion that hackers acting on the Russian strongman's authority interfered in the US elections.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published on Friday, Trump hinted that he may lift sanctions imposed on Russia over Moscow's alleged cyberattacks if Russia helps the US on key goals such as fighting jihadist groups.