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Trump and Putin to hold summit in Finland next month

Hawkish US envoy John Bolton was received in Moscow with top honours.

Trump and Putin (kind of).
Trump and Putin (kind of).
Image: DPA/PA Images

Updated Jun 28th 2018, 1:49 PM

A LONG-AWAITED summit between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will take place in Helsinki on 16 July, the Kremlin and the White House said in simultaneous statements this afternoon.

“An agreement has been reached that on 16 July in Helsinki there will be a meeting between the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the President of the United States Donald Trump,” the Kremlin said.

The talks will see the two leaders discuss “the current state and prospects for development of Russian-US relations,” according to the release.

A statement from the White House said the men would also broach “a range of national security issues”.

Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton met Putin in Moscow yesterday. The two discussed the details of the first full summit between the presidents.

US-Russian relations have hit lows not seen since the Cold War over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, its involvement in eastern Ukraine and allegations of political meddling, as well as disagreement over the Syrian conflict.

Since coming to power last year, Trump has sought to improve relations with Putin amid tensions between Moscow and the West.

Trump said this month that Russia should be re-admitted to the G7 group of industrialised democracies from which it was suspended after annexing Crimea in 2014.

That comment came at a summit which ended in sharp disagreement between Trump and his G7 allies.

The last, brief meeting between Putin and Trump took place in November 2017 in Vietnam during an APEC summit.

Trump is due to attend the July 11 and 12 NATO summit in Brussels before heading to Britain to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II on July 13.

- © AFP, 2018

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