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Putin Gives Thumbs Up To Slovenia As Venue For First Meeting With Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint press conference with his Slovenian counterpart following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 10.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he would be happy to hold his first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Slovenia, but that there are many factors in a decision on a venue for the meeting.

Putin spoke on February 10 after Slovenian President Borut Pahor offered the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, as a potential site for the first meeting between the Russian and U.S. presidents since Trump took office on January 20.

Slovenia is "a wonderful place for such dialogues. But it doesn't depend only on us, it depends on a whole series of circumstances," Putin told reporters after meeting Pahor in Moscow.

Putin and Trump have both said they hope to try to improve U.S.-Russian ties, which have been badly strained by rancor over Russia's interference in Ukraine and other issues.

The presidents spoke by telephone on January 28, but no date for a face-to-face meeting has been set.

"If these meetings ever happen, we don't have anything against Ljubljana," Putin said.

U.S. First Lady Melania Trump is from Slovenia, which was formerly part of Yugoslavia and is now an EU and NATO member.

It was the site of the first meeting between Putin and President George W. Bush in 2001, after which Bush said he had looked Putin in the eye and gotten "a sense of his soul."

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