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Senior Russian, U.S. security officials to meet amid sanctions

MOSCOW, Aug.  (Xinhua) -- Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev will meet U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Thursday in Geneva, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday, at a time when Washington has imposed fresh sanctions on Moscow.

Patrushev and Bolton are likely to discuss bilateral relations and acute international problems, but "there is no firmly fixed agenda," Peskov told a daily briefing.

On Sunday, Bolton said in an interview with ABC News that he planned to discuss at the meeting "a broad range of issues that may be open for discussion between Washington and Moscow."

He said he expected in particular discussions of the situation in Syria and Iran's role in the country.

The meeting will take place as a new round of U.S. sanctions against Russia is expected to take effect on Wednesday, a move Moscow says is a declaration of an "economic war."

Peskov said the upcoming U.S. sanctions, which are "unfriendly" and "illegal," will hurt broader international trade.

Nevertheless, Russian President Vladimir Putin remains ready to resolve the problems facing the two countries, Peskov said.