Bolton readies Moscow visit amid reports of possible Putin meeting

 Bolton readies Moscow visit amid reports of possible Putin meeting

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Friday President Vladimir Putin plans to meet U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton during his Moscow visit next week, the RIA news agency reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying, "We are preparing a meeting with President Putin and we expect that the meeting will take place."

Bolton said in a tweet he planned to meet with top Russian officials but did not mention Putin.

"Heading to Moscow tomorrow to meet with senior Russian leaders, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, to continue discussions that began in Helsinki between our two countries," he tweeted.

Bolton is scheduled for meetings in Moscow Oct. 22-23, according to RIA.

Critics of Trump have accused him of being soft on Russia, and both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress are pushing for more sanctions on Moscow.

Sanctions had been imposed for Russia's alleged election meddling in the United States and other countries, the Ukraine crisis, and allegations it was behind a nerve agent attack in Britain.

The Kremlin has denied any election interference or role in the nerve attack.

Bolton has also urged a stronger strategic response to counter Russia, and in August said sanctions on the former U.S. Cold War foe would remain until Moscow changed its behaviour.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth in Moscow; additional reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington; editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Richard Chang)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Oct 20, 2018 02:05:52 IST