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Russia Says Trump-Putin Call Being Arranged, Welcomes Terror Stance

A combo photo of U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin
A combo photo of U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says the Kremlin expects the date for a phone call between Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump to be agreed soon.

Dmitry Peskov said on January 23 that the Russian Foreign Ministry is handling contacts with Washington about plans for the presidents' first conversation since Trump took office on January 20.

"We are expecting the date of the possible phone call to be coordinated shortly," Peskov told reporters in a conference call."This has not happened so far."

Peskov said he had "no information" about when Putin and Trump might hold their first meeting.

He also said it is too early to discuss details of possible cooperation between Russia and the United States in fighting Islamist militants.

Trump has said he hopes to improve relations with Russia, which are badly strained.

The White House said after Trump was sworn in that defeating "radical Islamic terror groups" will the top U.S. foreign policy priority, and that the United States will "pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations when necessary" to achieve that goal.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that U.S. and Russian interests "obviously coincide" and that Moscow is ready to consider concrete proposals from the Trump administration.

"Let me remind you that [Putin] called 18 months ago for the formation of a full-fledged, universal front for fighting terrorism, and this initiative is still on the table," Lavrov said in Budapest on January 23.

Based in reporting by Interfax, Reuters, and TASS

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