September 30, 2019 / 1:02 PM / a month ago

Kremlin says disclosure of Trump-Putin phone calls would need Russian consent

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Monday that Washington would need Russian consent to publish transcripts of phone calls between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Congress is determined to get access to Trump’s calls with Putin and other world leaders, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee’s chairman said on Sunday, citing concerns that the Republican president may have jeopardized national security.

Asked about those comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Russia would be prepared to discuss the issue with Washington if it sent Moscow a signal, but that such disclosures were not normal diplomatic practice.

“Of course their publication is to some extent only possible by mutual agreement of the parties. This is a certain diplomatic practice,” Peskov said.

“To be more specific, perhaps, diplomatic practice in general does not envisage their publication. If there are some signals from the Americans, then we will discuss (them).”

The Democratic-led House last week launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump in the aftermath of a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump had solicited interference by Ukraine in the 2020 U.S. election for his own political benefit.

The White House released a memo summarizing Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy after the allegations set off a U.S. domestic political storm.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth, Katya Golubkova and Polina Devitt; editing by Andrew Osborn

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