Kremlin says Putin wants one-on-one talks with Trump

US congressmen meet Russian officials in St. Petersburg

US-Russian relations have plummeted in recent years amid Russia's involvement in the Ukraine crisis and allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

Background: Washington and Moscow have sparred through sanctions following a breakdown in ties due to Russia's annexation of Crimea and alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, back to a camera, listens to U.S. Sen.

The eight-member USA delegation was officially in town to speak with their counterparts in Russia's lower and upper houses of parliament - the first direct exchange between lawmakers from both countries since 2013. "We can be competitors".

"We're hoping that coming out of the Putin-Trump meeting in Helsinki, it will be the beginning, maybe, of a new day", Shelby added.

American "political will" has shifted in a positive manner toward better U.S.

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"I hope your visit will be a symbol of restoring relations between the two parliaments", Lavrov told them during a meeting, Interfax said.

Recall, trump and Putin will be held on 16 July in Helsinki.

The Kremlin spokesman added that "a face-to-face meeting between Putin and Trump will take place at the beginning" of the summit, if a preliminary agreement were to be reached with the U.S. side. Trump pulled the USA out of the deal earlier this year.

While gently encouraged by the progress made between the two countries, Peskov cautioned it was "too early" to speak of a thaw in U.S. -Russia relations, ahead of a visit to Moscow by a U.S. congressional delegation.

Most recently, the USA leader angered European leaders when he reportedly suggested last month that he may be willing to reverse US policy and recognize Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from neighboring Ukraine.

"Lavrov told me the Russian president planned to go to Serbia this autumn", Dacic, who on Thursday returned from Moscow where he had talks with his Russian counterpart, he told the national television.

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