The FINANCIAL -- U.S. President Donald Trump has said in an interview with Reuters that he isn't considering lifting sanctions on Russia, but he would consider doing so if Russia gave him something he wants in Ukraine or Syria.
Trump then suggested areas where he could foresee making a deal with Russia over sanctions.
Trump told Reuters that Putin did not ask him to lift U.S. sanctions during their summit in Helsinki last month. But he said the two in a private meeting that lasted nearly two hours did talk about Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and incursion into eastern Ukraine, as well as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany that will supply the latter with natural gas.
The U.S. first imposed sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea in 2014, and since then has steadily ratcheted up and expanded the sanctions, citing alleged abuses from Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to its alleged chemical weapons attack on a Russian ex-spy this year in Britain.
Washington has also threatened to impose sanctions over the Nord Stream pipeline, which it maintains will increase German and European dependence on Russian energy.
On an issue related to sanctions -- Russia's faltering economy -- Trump told Reuters that Putin seemed eager for help at the summit.
On other subjects during the Reuters interview, Trump said it was "most likely" that he will have a second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the two nations negotiate over ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.
And Trump said he has worries about falling into what he called a "perjury trap" if he agrees to be interviewed by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an investigation into ties between Russia and Trump's 2016 election campaign.
Trump said his testimony, for example, might contradict the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, who Trump fired last year when he was leading the Russia investigation. Trump contended that Comey is a "proven liar," without providing evidence.