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Putin, Trump discuss nuclear disarmament, Venezuela, Mueller report during phone call

May 03, 18:58 updated at: May 03, 20:00 UTC+3

The conversation lasted for almost 1.5 hours

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© Alexey Nikolsky/Presidential Press Service/TASS

WASHINGTON, May 3. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump have held negotiations over the phone, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders stated on Friday during a press briefing.

Sanders informed that the two leaders had discussed the outcomes of the investigation by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the situation in Venezuela and North Korea, as well as the prospects of prolonging the New START and signing a new nuclear disarmament treaty between Russia, the US and China. "They [Putin and Trump] discussed a nuclear agreement, both new and extended, and the possibility of having conversations with China on that as well," she stated.

The White House press secretary hailed the phone call as "overall positive". "They also talked about North Korea. They also spoke about Ukraine and Venezuela - an overall positive conversation," Sanders said, adding that the leaders have noted an increased level of trade between Russia and the USA.

Trump has held a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which he stressed the need for a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela, Sarah Sanders stated.

"The President reiterated the need for a peaceful transition (of power in Venezuela - TASS) and his focus throughout the conversation was on the need to help the people and make sure that the aid was actually getting to them and being delivered," Sanders told reporters.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has confirmed the White House statements on the conversation between the two leaders. "The conversation between Trump and Putin lasted for almost 1.5 hours," Peskov said.

Putin and Trump have confirmed their willingness to activate dialogue in various spheres, including strategic stability, during a phone call held on Friday. The leaders also discussed the issues of bilateral relations, paying special attention to economic cooperation, the Kremlin press service informs.

"At the initiative of the US side, an extended phone call has been held between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump," the press service stated, adding that the presidents have discussed "the current state and prospects of bilateral relations with a focus on economic cooperation". "The presidents have confirmed their mutual commitment to activate dialogue in various spheres, including on the issues of strategic stability," the message added.

This phone call is the first contact between Putin and Trump after the G20 summit, held in Argentina in December 2018. Back then, Trump cancelled a planned separate meeting with Putin, and the leaders had a short conversation on the sidelines of the forum.

In early 2019, Trump announced the US’ exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. On February 2, Kremlin suspended its participation in the treaty as well. Putin instructed Russia’s foreign and defense ministers not to initiate any contacts with Washington on this matter due to the US’ unwillingness to discuss the issues of strategic stability.

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