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'Everybody was welcome to the Sochi Olympics,' Kremlin on whether Putin invited Trump

May 17, 17:38 UTC+3 SOCHI

The Kremlin spokesman commented on reports alleging an invitation had been relayed to Donald Trump through him and business executives Araz and Emin Agalarov

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© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

SOCHI, May 17. /TASS/. The Kremlin cannot say whether in 2013 President Vladimir Putin conveyed an invitation through his spokesman to then business executive Donald Trump to attend the Sochi Olympic Games, Acting Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

Peskov was commenting on reports alleging an invitation had been relayed to Donald Trump through him and business executives Araz and Emin Agalarov (president and first vice-president of Crocus Group), when Trump visited Moscow in November 2013 for the Miss Universe beauty pageant.

"Putin definitely did not meet with Trump during that beauty pageant, we have repeatedly said this," Peskov noted. "But I cannot tell you for sure at the moment whether there had been an invitation (from Putin to Trump) to the Olympics. But back then we were telling absolutely everyone, just the way we are now telling everybody about the football championship (Russia-hosted 2018 FIFA World Cup), that we would be happy to see everybody in our country and we would welcome all to the extraordinary Sochi Olympics in 2014," Peskov said.

He could not specify whether there had been a phone call between him and the Agalarovs on this matter. "I simply don’t know precisely which telephone conversation (was meant)," the acting spokesman said. In replying to the question about his contacts with the Agalarovs, Peskov reiterated that they are business executives engaged in the construction of major facilities, including for the 2012 APEC summit and for the FIFA World Cup this year. "That is why, they are well-known in our country, and of course these entrepreneurs also have contacts in many countries throughout the world," he added.

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