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Putin and Trump set to meet in Paris on Nov 11

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US President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018. They will meet again in Paris on Nov. 11 for events to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One. Xinhua

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Preliminary agreement has been reached on a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in Paris on Nov. 11, a Kremlin foreign policy aide said on Tuesday.

The aide, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters that Mr Putin and Mr Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, who met for talks in Moscow on Tuesday, had confirmed a preliminary agreement for the two heads of state to meet in Paris.

“We plan… that our presidents will have a bilateral meeting,” Mr Ushakov said, adding that detailed arrangements were underway.

Both presidents plan to be in Paris for events to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One, and they are planning to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines, according to Mr Ushakov.

This will be their first encounter since a summit in Finnish capital, Helsinki that unleashed a storm of criticism that Mr Trump was cozying up to the Kremlin.

Mr Trump’s Democratic Party opponents, and some members of his own Republican Party, had accused him of failing to stand up to Mr Putin, especially over allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential elections.

At a post-summit news conference alongside Mr Putin, Mr Trump questioned the findings of US intelligence agencies that Russia had tried to influence the vote. Moscow denies any interference in the elections.

Republican Senator John McCain, who has since died, had described the news conference at the time as “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.

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