Focus at Four: What we know about the upcoming Trump-Putin summit

Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama, was meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow two weeks before the countries' presidents are to meet in Helsinki.

Peskov's comments come a week after, Putin told USA national security adviser John Bolton that Russian-American relations "were not in the best shape", during a meeting in Moscow, according to Russia's TASS news agency.

For the second day in a row he stressed that the two powers do not necessarily need to be adversaries, but competitors like in sports or trade.

Ahead of the North Korea summit, some US officials expressed concern about a meeting without any other aides present.

The summit would offer Putin a chance to try to persuade Washington to lift some of the sanctions imposed on Russian Federation over its annexation of Crimea, and supposed meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters today that if both sides agree, Putin and Trump could meet tete-a-tete without their aides before the start of the official meeting on July 16.

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"We have a strained relationship, but we could have a better relationship between he USA and Russian Federation, because there's some common interests around the world that we hopefully can work together on", Shelby said, according to video from the meeting in Moscow.

American "political will" has shifted in a positive manner toward better U.S.

Nance's reply: lifting the sanctions put in place after Russian Federation annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in 2014.

Asked about whether the visiting USA lawmakers would meet Putin, Peskov said: "For now, it is not on the president's schedule, but we know that the American officials have planned quite wide-reaching contacts with their colleagues".

Peskov said on July 2 that the Russian president was open to searching for compromises with Trump on "all" issues except the status of Ukraine's Crimea region, which Moscow claims is part of Russia.

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