US, Russian Officials: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to Speak

US, Russian Officials: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to Speak by Phone on Saturday

By DAVID CAPLAN

(abc news) –President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will have a telephone conversation this weekend, according to both a senior administration official and the Kremlin.

The call will take place on Saturday, both the U.S. official and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed on Friday.

“As it usually happens during such contacts, the sides will naturally exchange opinions on key parameters of the current state of bilateral affairs,” Peskov told reporters Friday. “One can hardly expect substantive contacts on the entire range of affairs from this call … Let us wait and see, let us be patient.”

The U.S. official echoed the aforementioned sentiment, telling ABC News that the leaders will discuss bilateral affairs and likely national security.

During an interview with Fox News that aired Thursday night, Trump said of Putin, “He called me after I won, but I haven’t had a discussion, but I understand we will be having a discussion soon.”

The announcement comes just two days after Peskov had said a call was not scheduled yet. “No one is jumping the gun because we realize that they, Washington, need time to settle down,” Peskov said Wednesday.

Trump and Putin did speak after the election on November 14, in what was described merely as a congratulatory call.

Then in December, Trump shared a “very nice” letter he received from the Russian leader, who wrote, “I hope that after you assume the position of the President of the United States of America, we will be able — by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner — to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level.”

By DAVID CAPLAN