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Monday 22 October 2018

US-Russia ties have 'never been worse', says Trump ahead of Helsinki summit

  • Trump and Putin to hold private meeting
  • Agenda unclear ahead of summit
  • 'I'll go in with low expectations' - Trump
A previous meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg (Evan Vucci/AP)
A previous meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg (Evan Vucci/AP)
US President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (Jorge Silva/AP)
Trump and Putin at the APEC summit in Vietnam in November. Photo: Jorge Silva/Reuters
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

US president Donald Trump said on Twitter on Monday that US-Russian ties have never been worse.

"Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!," he said shortly before he is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

His comments come ahead of a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Finnish capital Helsinki.

Protests are expected to take place while the meeting is underway between to the two leaders at the Finnish Presidential Palace.

A rally against US president Donald Trump in Helsinki (AP)
A rally against US president Donald Trump in Helsinki (AP)

There is no clear agenda for the one-on-one meeting and speaking on Sunday Mr Trump remained vague about his goals but said he has "low expectations".

“I go in with low expectations,” he said, “I’m not going with high expectations. I think that getting along with Russia is a good thing but it’s possible we won’t.”

When questioned about his objectives, he said: “I’ll let you know after the meeting.”

Asked if he would seek extradition of the 12 Russians spies indicted by the US Attorney General’s office on Friday for hacking into the Democratic National Committee, he remained equivocal.

“Well, I might,” he said. “I hadn’t thought of that. But certainly I’ll be asking about it.”

John Bolton, his National Security Adviser, said yesterday that the subjects up for discussion remained fluid.

“We have asked, and the Russians have agreed, that it will be basically unstructured. We are not looking for concrete deliverables.”

The meeting comes after a Mr Trump's controversial attendance at the NATO summit in Brussels and his weekend visit to the UK.

Teppo Marttila, dressed as Uncle Sam, participates in the demonstration by the True Finns youth members in support of Donald Trump (AP)
Teppo Marttila, dressed as Uncle Sam, participates in the demonstration by the True Finns youth members in support of Donald Trump (AP)

On Twitter on Monday Mr Trump said he had "received many calls from leaders of NATO countries thanking me for helping to bring them together and to  get them focused on financial obligations, both present and future". The summit was "truly great" he said hitting out at the media for inaccurate coverage of it.

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