Russian Security Council Chief Upbeat Ahead of US Visit

SOCHI, May 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russian National Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev said on Monday he is optimistic about his upcoming visit to the United States, during which he will hand over to President Barack Obama a letter from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Patrushev did not reveal when the visit would take place, saying only that “the visit will go ahead when there is a letter [from Putin].”

Putin’s letter will be a response to Obama’s message that US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon brought to Moscow a month ago.

“We received it, and I believe it is logical for us to respond to it in the same way,” Patrushev said, adding he believes bilateral meetings should be more frequent.

Patrushev said he is planning to meet with Donilon during his visit.

Obama’s message has not been made public, but Putin’s foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said last month it contained a number of proposals to deepen bilateral dialogue and cooperation, and that Moscow will study them in depth.

Obama’s message to Putin, “couched in a constructive tone,” touches on matters of cooperation in the defense and technology sector, including missile defense and nuclear issues, Ushakov said.

US National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden later issued a statement saying Donilon had held discussions with President Putin, Patrushev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ushakov “on the full range of bilateral and global issues in preparation for the meeting between President Obama and President Putin on the margins of the G8 Summit and a US-Russia bilateral summit in early September.”

“The discussions were comprehensive and constructive,” Hayden said.


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