Trump Invites Putin to the U.S., Offers Visit to Moscow, Russia Says

Russian foreign minister also says the recent U.S.-led airstrikes negate any 'moral obligation' to stop supplying Assad with weapons

FILE PHOTO: Russia's President Vladimir Putin talks to U.S. President Donald Trump during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017.
\ Carlos Barria/ REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to the United States during a phone call, and said he would be glad to see Putin in the White House, RIA Novosti reported on Friday, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry. 

The news agency quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying Trump returned to the subject of an invitation a couple of times during a phone call with Putin. Trump told Putin he would be happy to make a reciprocal visit to Russia, the RIA news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.

Russian will not offer to host a meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, however, Lavrov said on Friday.

Trump has said he is trying to set up a meeting with Kim to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula. Lavrov was quoted as saying by RIA that the meeting would be a step away from a military resolution of the situation.

He said that he was convinced Putin and Trump would not allow an armed confrontation between their two countries, RIA reported. 

Lavrov also said on Friday that U.S. military strikes on Syria last week removed any moral obligation Russia had to withhold S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems from its ally Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Lavrov was also quoted as saying that, prior to the U.S. strikes on Syrian targets, Russia had told U.S. officials which areas of Syria represented "red lines" for Moscow, and the U.S. military action did not cross those lines.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia did not know how the situation in Syria would evolve in terms of the country maintaining its territorial integrity, the Interfax news agency reported. 

"We don't know how the situation is going to develop on the question of whether it is possible to keep Syria as a single country," the agency quoted Ryabkov as telling Germany's Deutsche Welle broadcaster.