Monday 10 December 2018

Trump-Putin summit to take place in Helsinki on July 16

The US president said earlier that getting along with Russia is a ‘very good thing’.

Mr Trump will meet Russian president Vladimir Putin next month (AP)
Mr Trump will meet Russian president Vladimir Putin next month (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

The summit between US president Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will take place in Helsinki on July 16.

The synchronised announcement by the Kremlin and the White House comes a day after Mr Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton held talks with Russian officials in Moscow to lay the groundwork for the meeting in the capital of Finland.

ipanews_cde4075a-46db-4846-8b29-6e30e5ae0cc1_embedded237262108
The meeting will take place on July 16 in the capital of Finland (AP)

Mr Trump said on Wednesday that “getting along with Russia and with China and with everybody is a very good thing”.

He added that the two sides would discuss Syria, Ukraine and “many other subjects”.

The Russian leader had two brief meetings with Mr Trump on the sidelines of international summits last year, but plans for a full-fledged meeting have been held back amid US investigations into alleged collusion between Mr Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Ahead of the announcement, Mr Trump repeated Russian denials of election interference, tweeting: “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!”

The US leader has continually parroted the Kremlin’s denial of election interference, a move that has put him out of step with the findings of the US intelligence community and nearly all Democrats and Republicans in Congress, who say there is clear evidence of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential campaign.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is likely to meet with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo within the next two weeks as part of efforts to set the stage for the summit.

Mr Ryabkov said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies that Moscow has already made a proposal regarding the specifics of the meeting and is waiting for Washington’s answer.

The Russian foreign ministry later warned against expectations of any breakthroughs resulting from the meeting.

ipanews_cde4075a-46db-4846-8b29-6e30e5ae0cc1_embedded237264177
The summit will take place in the Finnish capital (AP)

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow has “pragmatic and realistic” expectations for the July 16 summit, given the number of issues to be addressed.

Ms Zakharova said Mr Ryabkov and Mr Pompeo might meet before the presidential summit, but that no specific arrangements have been made.

She said US-Russian discussions will focus on the situation in Syria and in the broader Middle East, the armed conflict in Ukraine and combating international terrorism.

ipanews_cde4075a-46db-4846-8b29-6e30e5ae0cc1_embedded237121084
Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of Nato (AP)

Meanwhile, Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed news of the meeting.

Mr Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels that Nato’s approach to Russia is one of defence and dialogue, so it is important to talk to the biggest country in the European neighbourhood.

He said: “It’s absolutely, totally in line with Nato policies to talk to Russia, to meet with Russian leaders.

“We don’t want a new Cold War. We don’t want to isolate Russia. We want to strive for a better relationship.”

He added that “for me, dialogue is not a sign of weakness. Dialogue is a sign of strength”.

Mr Trump holds talks with his Nato counterparts in Brussels on July 11-12.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News