Trump administration invites Putin to Washington for 2019 visit

President Donald Trump has invited his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to visit Washington next year, US National Security Adviser John Bolton says.

It is unclear if Mr Putin has accepted the invitation.

The two leaders have met several times on the sidelines of international meetings but have held only one bilateral summit, in Helsinki in July.

They are expected to meet briefly in Paris next month to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

Speaking at a news conference in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, Mr Bolton said: “We have invited President Putin to Washington after the first of the year [2019] for basically a full day of consultations. What the scheduling of that is we don’t quite know yet.”

Why might a visit be controversial?

The invitation comes amid strained relations between the two countries.

Mr Bolton visited Moscow earlier this week to convey US plans to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty – a landmark nuclear deal.

Russia denies Washington’s claims that it has breached the treaty and has warned that withdrawal would be a “dangerous step”.

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