Vienna being considered as venue for possible Putin-Trump summit

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Beijing, capital of China, June 8, 2018.

Mr Putin offered to host the next summit after his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump suggested Russian Federation should have been at the Quebec gathering which came to an acrimonious end last night.

Putin said he shares Trump's expression of concern about a renewed arms race expressed in a March phone call.

Moscow was expelled from the rich nations' club, which sees itself as a guarantor of rules-based order and the global economy, over its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. Lawmakers have questioned his hesitance to criticize Russian Federation, particularly for its alleged role in influencing the 2016 USA election.

Putin described the USA pullout from the nuclear deal as a "unilateral and illegal move" and declared Moscow will negotiate with other parties to the deal to keep it intact, Fars reported.

Putin received China's first-ever friendship medal for his "outstanding contributions" to China's modernization drive and helping to maintain world peace, AFP reported.

Rouhani appreciated efforts by China and Russian Federation to preserve the nuclear accord, saying, "All signatories to the JCPOA have a responsibility regarding the commitments of removing sanctions under the JCPOA, and also based on Resolution 2231 of the UN Security Council and Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations are responsible to help full implementation of the JCOPA and prevent any move that poses an obstacle on implementation of the JCPOA".

The president denounced the U-S unilateral sanctions against Iran after pulling out of the agreement.

"Things happen", Putin said.

Trump's rejection of the global climate accord and Iran nuclear deal, supported by the European Union and Canada is going to be another flashpoint in the increasingly acrimonious relationship between Washington and its Western allies.

Peskov said the possibility of a Vienna summit was also raised this week during talks in the city between Putin and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who has sought to present his country as a bridge between Russian Federation and the West.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, whose country is an observer member, also attended the meeting as he seeks Chinese and Russian support following the USA withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran.

Meeting in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Xi lauded their relationship.

Meanwhile, in Canada, a growing rift between the United States and its most important allies was on full display. "Russia should be in this meeting", Trump told reporters before leaving the White House South Lawn for Canada, where the summit is being held.

The SCO meets this year after Trump controversially pulled Washington out of the 2015 global pact with Iran that placed limits on its nuclear program in return for easing economic sanctions.

  • Joey Payne