Mattis denies ‘policy changes’ made at Trump’s meeting with Putin

President Trump is open to visiting Russian Federation if President Vladimir Putin extends a formal invitation, the White House said on Friday.

In his remarks Friday in South Africa at a summit for leaders of developing nations, Putin said the high-level dialogue between Moscow and Washington was continuing in spite of the harsh reaction to Mr. Trump's Helsinki performance in the U.S. By all means. By the way, he has such an invitation, I told him about that... The last time Trump was in the Russian capital was in 2013, to attend a Miss Universe beauty pageant.

You can see in pictures of Putin and Trump that the ball bore a logo for a near-field communication tag.

Trump was criticized at home for failing to confront Putin publicly over Moscow's interference in the 2016 USA election, and for seeming to contradict his own intelligence agencies on the threat from Russian Federation.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Mr Mattis said: "I am considering meeting with my counterpart, but there's been no decision".

Putin did not say how Trump had reacted to the invitation to travel to Moscow.

A White House statement said the meeting addressed threats to elections "from malign foreign actors" and efforts on providing cyber security assistance to state and local authorities.

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But Mr Putin today made a case for improved relations with Washington, saying it would help make the world was a safer place.

"Are we going to extend it or not?" Russian Federation and the United States have a stake in that, the whole word has a stake in that, in not starting an arms race. "If we don't start talks in 2021, the treaty will cease to exist".

The New START treaty is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russian Federation that was signed in April 2010.

He said: "Yes, we have contacts on a working level, but sometimes that's not enough". Among the issues Putin said he's eager to talk about are nuclear arms control, conflicts in the Middle East, and the Iran nuclear deal.

His initial remarks raised concerns that Mr. Trump trusted the Russian leader's denial of such interference in American over the conclusions of the entire USA intelligence apparatus.

"It's a subject for debate and negotiations".

"You can criticize him for what he is doing, and some people do criticize him, however, one thing remains absolutely clear - he is committed to fulfilling his campaign promises".

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