First Donald Trump And Vladimir Putin Summit To Hold In Helsinki In July

Relations between Washington and Moscow have become strained over allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are to have their first official summit in Helsinki, Finland, on 16 July.

Relations between the two countries have become strained over allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, as well as Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al Assad and its involvement in the Ukraine conflict.

During the long-awaited meeting, Mr Trump and Mr Putin will discuss relations between their countries and “a range of national security issues​”, said the White House.​

The summit will take place after the US president attends a NATO meeting in Brussels and has a working visit to the UK, where he is expected to have talks with Prime Minister Theresa May and also meet the Queen.

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

Mr Trump said “getting along with Russia and with China and with everybody is a very good thing”, and they would discuss the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and “many other subjects”

The Kremlin denies links with the Trump campaign team and influencing the White House race amid a formal investigation led by former FBI boss Robert Mueller.

Mr Trump has repeated his denials of any interference by Moscow, tweeting: “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!”

While the American president often praises Mr Putin, the US has slapped sanctions on Moscow for its military action in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.

Since the billionaire US businessman took office in January 2017, the pair have met twice in person.They last held face-to-face talks in November 2017 on the sidelines of an APEC summit of world leaders in Danang, Vietnam.

In July that year, Mr Trump and President Putin had a bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The Russian leader says he and Mr Trump “regularly talk over the phone”, while the White House says they have spoken at least eight times.

Earlier this month, Mr Putin told Chinese state media that he expects economic sanctions to be gradually lifted and Russia’s relationship with Western countries to normalise.

Mr Trump has called for Russia to be let back into the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialised nations.

Russia was suspended over the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and before the move the group was known as the G8.

As he headed to the G7 summit in Canada earlier this month, Mr Trump told reporters: “Why are we having a meeting without Russia in the meeting?


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