December 20, 2018 / 12:49 PM / a month ago

Russia's Putin says he doesn't know when he will meet Trump

FILE PHOTO -U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he did not know whether he would meet U.S. President Donald Trump soon, but that it was important for Moscow and Washington to normalise relations.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said earlier this month that there would be no meeting between Trump and Putin until Moscow releases Ukrainian ships and sailors that it seized near Crimea last month.

“I don’t know if such a meeting will happen or not,” Putin told reporters at his annual news conference.

Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya, Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber, Andrew Osborn; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Jon Boyle

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