The Latest: Putin says ready to meet Trump

Vladimir Putin
AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

QINGDAO, China (AP) — The Latest on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks at a summit of the Chinese- and Russian-dominated Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the eastern city of Qingdao (all times local):

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3 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he’s happy to meet with President Donald Trump once Washington is ready to hold the summit.

Putin, speaking to reporters in Qingdao, China, where he attended a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, says Trump has voiced concern about a renewed arms race. He says he agrees with that, adding that a thorough discussion is needed to address the issue.

Putin says some nations including Austria have offered to host his summit with Trump.

Putin’s remarks follow a report that White House officials were working toward setting up a meeting. Trump has said he was open to having a summit with Putin, who U.S. intelligence officials have said directed Russian meddling in the 2016 election to help Trump win.

The American leader has repeatedly said he wants to improve relationships with Moscow.

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1:30 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says counterterrorism efforts are a priority for a regional grouping led by Moscow and Beijing.

Addressing Sunday’s summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao, China, Putin said a new agreement approved by the bloc spells out plans for joint anti-terror efforts for the next three years. The bloc includes China, Russia, four ex-Soviet Central Asian nations, India and Pakistan.

Putin said the bloc’s new counterterrorism agreement foresees joint drills, exchanging information and conducting coordinated anti-terror action.

He emphasized the need for the group to closely follow the situation in Afghanistan to fend off the threats posed by militants in the country.

Founded in 2001, the Beijing-based bloc was originally conceived as a vehicle for resolving border issues, fighting terrorism and — more implicitly — to counter American influence in Central Asia following its invasion of Afghanistan.

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1 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is hailing a planned summit of the United States and North Korea.

Speaking Sunday at a gathering of leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao, China, the Russian leader noted Beijing’s contribution to helping defuse tensions around North Korea.

Putin says “Russia welcomes the planned summit of the U.S. and North Korea and notes China’s big contribution to helping settle the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.”

He referred to a meeting of President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday, saying “we positively view the intentions of Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington to reach a comprehensive settlement of the crisis through talks.”

Putin noted that Russia and China have emphasized the need for talks to reduce tensions.

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12:30 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal in a speech at a regional summit in China.

Speaking during a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao on Sunday, Putin emphasized that the bloc members are worried about the U.S. move. The bloc includes China, Russia along with four ex-Soviet Central Asian nations, as well as India and Pakistan.

Putin says Washington’s decision to exit the agreement could “destabilize the situation” in the region.

He adds Moscow will continue to honor its obligations under the Iranian nuclear deal.

Last month, President Donald Trump pulled out of former President Barack Obama’s landmark 2015 nuclear accord with Iran over the objections of European allies and other nations.

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