This is historic of course and i have already spoken to the emerging alliance which will subsume Europe at least.
President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin to meet July 16 in Helsinki
Kim Hjelmgaard and David Jackson,
USA TODAY Published 6:38 a.m. ET June 28, 2018 | Updated 10:29 a.m. ET June 28, 2018
A foreign affairs adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow and Washington reached an agreement Wednesday on the date and location for a summit between Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump. (June 27) AP
(Photo: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV, AFP/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will meet July 16 in Helsinki, Finland, less than a week after what figures to be a tense meeting between the U.S. president and NATO allies.
"The two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues," the White House said in formally announcing the summit after days of negotiating.
Those issues include the civil war in Syria, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and North Korea's nuclear weapons, said officials in both countries.
The first formal, one-on-one Trump-Putin summit will come at the end of Trump's scheduled trip to Europe, including a NATO summit in Brussels set for July 11-12.
The U.S. president is at odds with NATO, saying members are not contributing enough to the mutual defense alliance; NATO members fear Trump will undercut western unity in confronting Russian aggression, from its incursion into Urkraine to cyber attacks.
The Trump-Putin summit also takes place in the midst of a U.S. special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including links between the Russians and Trump associates.
Trump has denounced the investigation as a hoax, doing so again Thursday on Twitter, and accepting Putin's claim that Russia was not involved.
"Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!" Trump tweeted while urging investigators to look at the Democrats instead.
Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election! Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn’t Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2018
This will be the first formal summit between Trump and Putin. The two met on the sidelines of economic conference last year in Germany and Vietnam, and have spoken on the phone.
National Security Adviser John Bolton worked out scheduling details during meetings with Putin and other Russian officials Thursday in Moscow.
"I think we'll be talking about Syria," Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. "I think we'll be talking about Ukraine. I think we'll be talking about many other subjects. And we'll see what happens. So you never know."
Asked if Russian election activity will be one of those subjects, Trump said: "You never know about meetings, what happens. Right? But I think a lot of good things can come with meetings with people."
In addition to the Putin and NATO meetings, Trump is scheduled to visit the United Kingdom on July 13. The White House has not said where Trump will be July 14-15, but the president does own golf property in Scotland.
In planning the Trump-Putin summit, U.S. and Russian officials had to decide whether Trump's meeting with Putin would come before or after the NATO summit, and opted for afterward on July 16.
They also had to work around Putin's schedule; the meeting comes a day after the Russian president attends the World Cup final in Moscow.
Seeking a neutral site, officials had also discussed Vienna as a potential location for the summit.
Helsinki has played an historical role in American-Russian relations over the years.
In 1975, President Gerald Ford traveled to the Finnish capital to sign the Helsinki Accords, a declaration aimed at improving relations with the then-Communist Soviet Union.
President George H.W. Bush held his first summit meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the city in 1990, when they spoke about a developing crisis in the Middle East.
"Finland is always ready to offer its good services if asked," Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto tweeted Tuesday in response to questions about the summit.