Putin brags that he ‘regularly’ speaks to Trump on the phone

Putin brags that he ‘regularly’ speaks to Trump on the phone

Putin brags that he ‘regularly’ speaks to Trump on the phone

According to the Russian president, previous year the volume of trade between the two countries grew 40.5%.

"Both those who initiate these actions and those such measures that we call sanctions are aimed against find them harmful", Putin said in Vienna on Tuesday, claiming that European countries were merely "finding it hard to say so".

Trump said in March that the two leaders would meet soon, but since then already poor ties between Washington and Moscow have deteriorated further over the conflict in Syria and the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

They were imposed after Russian Federation annexed Ukraine's Crimea and gave support to separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed into law counter-sanctions legislation that was drawn up by lawmakers in response to US sanctions imposed on Russia in April.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told an Austrian journalist that he and Donald Trump speak on the phone regularly in an interview Tuesday leading up to his visit to Vienna.

Coupled with a drop in oil prices, the sanctions contributed to Russia's two-year recession.

Putin held meetings with Chancellor Kurz of the conservative Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the nationalist Freedom Party (FPÖ).

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said his country, which will take over the 28-nation EU's rotating presidency for six months in July, stands by EU sanctions but "will work to improve relations between the European Union and Russian Federation".

The trip comes a month before Austria takes over the rotating European Union presidency in July, and a week before Russian, Ukrainian, German and French foreign ministers meet in Berlin on 11 June to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

OMV is also among European companies involved in the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would double the amount of gas Russian Federation can send directly to Germany, skirting transit countries such as Ukraine - a project opposed by the United States and some other EU members. The German president focused on the issues of democracy and rule of law.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said at a joint news conference with Frank-Walter Steinmeier that he believes Nord Stream 2 would undermine the security of central and eastern Europe.

"Under such circumstances, it makes little sense - viewed from a purely economic point of view - to replace Russian gas with American liquefied gas", he told reporters.

The pipeline project has become a deeply divisive issue in Europe since it deliberately skirts eastern nations like Poland and Ukraine.

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