Trump Ready for ‘a Lot of Trade’ with Russia after Putin Phone Call

U.S. President Donald Trump has said that he shares Vladimir Putin’s desire to improve trade ties between Russia and the U.S., after a lengthy phone conversation with his Russian counterpart earlier this month, Reuters reports.

“We intend to do a lot of trade with Russia,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We do some right now. It’s up a little bit. But [Putin would] like to do trade and we’d like to do trade.”

Trump said he’ll meet with China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Japan in June. Putin’s foreign affairs adviser said the Kremlin is prepared to agree to any format for a meeting between the two presidents.

“It makes sense to get along with Russia,” Trump told reporters Monday during a meeting with Hungary’s Viktor Orban. Late last year, Trump abruptly canceled a meeting with Putin that had been planned on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Argentina, after Russia refused to release Ukrainian ships and sailors it had seized in the Kerch Strait.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi as part of a renewed effort by the White House and Kremlin to improve relations following the publication of the Mueller report.

Putin told Pompeo he hoped to restore relations and that the conclusion of the special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election meant that was possible.

“Despite all the exotic work of Mr. Mueller’s commission, I have to give him his due: on the whole, he conducted an objective investigation and confirmed the absence of any traces of a conspiracy between Russia and the current administration,” Putin told Pompeo at Bocharov Ruchey, his residence outside the city. Putin said that Mueller’s investigation had spoiled relations between the U.S. and Russia but that “Today I am hoping the situation is changing.”