President Xi Jinping confers upon Vladimir Putin ‘highest state honour of China’

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said that dialogue with Donald Trump could be "constructive", in comments released after his United States counterpart called for Russia to be re-admitted to the exclusive Group of Seven club of nations.

The meeting was held ahead of the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional security grouping jointly led by Beijing and Moscow, in the coastal city of Qingdao over the weekend.

Trump has repeatedly put himself at odds with practically the entire U.S. political and security establishment over Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election.

The statement made no mention of Russian Federation being invited back into the group from which it was kicked out in response to its 2014 annexation of Crimea, despite US President Donald Trump's insistence that the club would be better off if it brought Russian Federation back into the fold. "Please, we will be glad to see everyone here in Moscow", Putin told reporters at a briefing in China's city of Qingdao.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) late yesterday opened a two-day regional security summit attended by Russia, Iran and other allies confronting rising tensions with the USA over trade and Washington's withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal.

Russian Federation has not asked to rejoin the group of the world's leading economies and is perfectly happy working with the larger G20, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday, June 9, a day after US President Donald Trump called for Russia's return.

Despite tensions in the US-Russia relationship, Putin did not rule out the possibility of a meeting with Trump.

Although G7 leaders ignored US President Donald Trump's proposal to invite back Moscow into the club, Putin said he would be happy to be readmitted. The addition of South Asian rivals India and Pakistan have also raised questions about the group's long-term cohesiveness.

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Putin also welcomed Trump's statement that Russian Federation should be invited to rejoin the group that was called the G-8 before others expelled Russian Federation.

"The relationship between Russian Federation and China is a friendly, neighbourly one, developing... in the spirit of overarching strategic partnership", he said.

Now in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from the pact, "SCO members may use granting full membership to Iran as a way to demonstrate support for (Tehran) and the nuclear agreement", said Dawn Murphy, professor of global security studies at the U.S. Air War College.

In a symbol of close China-Russia ties, Xi on Friday gave China's first friendship medal to Putin.

"President Putin is the leader of a great country who is influential around the world", Xi said.

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

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani walks to his vehicle after walking out from the airplane upon his arrival at Qingdao Liuting International Airport, Shandong province, China, June 8, 2018.

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