Putin & Trump had 'robust' discussions on election-meddling


US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017.

HAMBURG, Germany - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump agreed on a ceasefire in south-western Syria during talks at the G20 summit, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

The truce, agreed to during talks held in a "constructive atmosphere", will start on July 9, Lavrov told reporters.

The Russian and US leaders had also agreed to work on solving the Ukrainian crisis, and a US representative will visit Russia for consultations on the issue, Lavrov added.

At the same time, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump and Putin had a "very robust and lengthy exchange" on allegations of Moscow's meddling in US elections.

During Trump and Putin's first face-to-face talks, the US property tycoon pressed the ex-KGB agent "on more than one occasion" on the claims, said Tillerson, who was in the meeting.

Putin denied any such involvement, he added.

The US and Russian presidents had differing views on how to deal with North Korea's weapons programmes, but Washington will continue to press Moscow to do more to curb Pyongyang's activities, Tillerson said.

"The Russians see it a little differently than we do, so we're going to continue those discussions and ask them to do more. Russia does have economic activity with North Korea," Tillerson told reporters.

- Additional reporting by AFP