Putin: ‘The ball is in Amer­ica’s court’

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD -

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin made a new per­sonal ap­peal to Pres­i­dent Trump for a bi­lat­eral sum­mit meet­ing and im­proved ties be­tween Rus­sia and the United States.

Putin told a state TV in­ter­viewer that it was time for Trump to keep his cam­paign prom­ise of pro­mot­ing a friend­lier re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries. The in­ter­view was recorded Thurs­day — be­fore Trump’s call for Rus­sia to be read­mit­ted to the Group of Seven coun­tries — and pub­lished Satur­day.

“A lot of things de­serve to be crit­i­cized” in Trump’s ac­tions, Putin said. “But there’s one cir­cum­stance that I’ve men­tioned pre­vi­ously: Trump keeps the prom­ises that he made in his cam­paign.”

He went on: “One of those prom­ises was to im­prove Rus­sian-Amer­i­can re­la­tions. I hope that this also takes place. At any rate, we are ready for this. I be­lieve that the ball is in Amer­ica’s court.”

The in­ter­view high­lights Putin’s ef­fort to con­tinue to show def­er­ence to Trump even as U.S.-Rus­sia re­la­tions plumb new depths.

Putin has been re­fer­ring to the U.S. pres­i­dent as “Don­ald” in pub­lic ap­pear­ances and prais­ing his acu­men.

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