Putin says efforts to set up summit with Trump beset by problems

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia was ready for dialogue with the United States, but that a proposed summit between him and U.S. President Donald Trump was not working out for now and was beset by problems.

Trump said in March that the two leaders would meet soon, but since then already poor ties between Washington and Moscow have deteriorated further over the conflict in Syria and the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

Speaking alongside French President Emmanuel Macron at an economic forum in St Petersburg, Putin said issues surrounding Iran, North Korea and fears of an arms race made it all the more important to hold a U.S.-Russia summit.

“We are ready for dialogue with Trump,” Putin told the forum. “(But) for now it’s not working out. Many problems are arising.”

Putin praised Trump for fulfilling his pre-election promises in the United States, but made it clear he did not agree with his decision to pull Washington out of the Iran nuclear deal.

However, Putin said Trump had not closed the door to talks on the issue or a new agreement with Iran, and said it was important for everyone concerned to keep talking.

“All is not yet lost,” said Putin.

Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Tom Balmforth/Andrew Osborn; Editing by Andrew Osborn