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Kremlin, Trump Team Deny Report of Meeting with Putin | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Reuters composite image of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

Washington- Donald Trump’s spokeswoman and the Kremlin denied Sunday a report that the U.S. President-elect’s first foreign trip after taking office would be a summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Iceland.

The Sunday Times in London, citing unnamed British officials it said had been informed of the plan, said Trump would seek to “reset” relations with the Kremlin.

The newspaper said the meeting would emulate Ronald Reagan’s Reykjavik talks with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 during the Cold War.

Trump, who will be inaugurated on Friday, would begin work on a deal limiting nuclear weapons as part of his bid to reset relations between the two powers, the report said.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the report was “completely false.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday that “for the moment there has been no discussion about a meeting”, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Iceland said it was not aware of such a plan but indicated willingness 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.

Trump has expressed admiration for Putin, and only belatedly accepted U.S. intelligence’s conclusion that hackers acting on the Russian strongman’s authority interfered in November’s elections.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Friday, Trump hinted he may lift sanctions imposed on Russia over Moscow’s alleged cyberattacks, if Russia helps the U.S. on key goals such as fighting jihadist groups.