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Kremlin dismisses rumors of Putin-Trump 'back channel line of communication'

April 04, 14:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to media reports, the UAE arranged a secret meeting between Moscow and Washington as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 4. /TASS/. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has strongly dismissed media rumors about a meeting in the Seychelles devoted to creating a "back channel line of communication" between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump.

"That’s sheer nonsense," Peskov told the media.

Earlier, the Washington Post quoted sources in the US administration and also officials in some European and Arab countries as saying "the United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump."

"The meeting took place around January 11, nine days before Trump’s inauguration, in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean," the daily cites the officials. "Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would be likely to require major concessions to Moscow on US sanctions," the Washington Post said.

The daily remarks that "though Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign or transition team, he presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his meeting with the Putin confidant, according to the officials, who did not identify the Russian."

At the same time a spokesman for Prince and the White House spokesman Sean Spicer denied the rumor saying that the meeting had "nothing to do with President Trump."

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