USA congressmen meet Russian officials in St. Petersburg

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U.S. President Donald Trump will discuss Russia's "malign activity" during a summit with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders and follow up in a meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin to determine whether Moscow wants to reduce tensions, U.S. official said on Thursday.

"The goal of this meeting really is for the two leaders to have a chance to sit down, not in the context of some larger multilateral meeting, but just the two of them, to go over what is on their mind about a whole range of issues", national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation".

"President Putin feels relaxed in any format, which is comfortable for his interlocutors", spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, Russian news agency Tass reported. When asked by reporters Saturday whether he would consider recognizing Russia's annexation of Crimea, Trump said that "we'll have to see".

On the issue of arms control, the official said the USA intends to raise Russian violations of the INF arms treaty during the meeting and discuss the fate of arms control agreements between the two countries.

Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters Monday that the status of Crimea "can not and will never be on the agenda because it is an inseparable part of Russian Federation", according to Agence France-Presse.

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Trump has recently signaled doubts about that USA policy and said he wouldn't rule out the possibility of recognizing Crimea as part of Russian Federation.

"Everyone in our alliance has the same goal, and that is a strong deterrent; an alliance that is unified that can face any threats that any one of our 29 members might face", she said, listing "Russia and the malign activities of Russian Federation, the efforts of Russian Federation to divide our Democratic nations" and INF treaty violations as among those threats.

Briefing reporters ahead of the trip, the ambassador, Jon Huntsman, was asked what the president hoped to achieve by meeting yet again with the leader of a country United States intelligence officials have concluded undermined U.S. democracy by meddling in the 2016 election to help Trump win, among a long list of hostile actions. Kislyak is now a member of Russia's upper house of parliament.

However, he took issue with President Trump's statement that he planned to discuss Crimea with President Putin there.