Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitri Peskov refuted speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s planned visit to defence sites is intended to “send a signal” hours ahead of his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Peskov made the comment during a conference call with journalists in Moscow on Tuesday.

“No, this is not true. You know that the president deals with issues surrounding the military-industrial complex twice a year. The purpose is the development of the military-industrial complex, and not to send a signal to someone,” he said, dismissing the speculation as a conspiracy theory.

“These meetings were planned long before the president’s schedule allowed him to meet the US Secretary of State,” he added.

Putin will meet Pompeo in Sochi on Tuesday. Earlier it was reported that on the same day, the Russian leader will examine weapons in the testing centre of the Aerospace Defence Centre in the Astrakhan region.

Putin and Pompeo are expected to discuss nuclear arms control, Iran and Venezuela.

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