Russian media suggest Putin-Trump summit a step forward

Hugh Fox
July 21, 2018

US President Donald Trump will meet Russia's Vladimir Putin later on Monday, ending a tumultuous European tour in which he criticised his allies.

"It was a comprehensive discussion at the start of an interesting day".

There were indications of an arrangement to work together and with Israel to support a ceasefire in southern Syria, suggesting that the U.S. administration is backing off its demand that Moscow's ally Bashar al-Assad step down.

Trump tweeted Sunday that he believes no matter well how the summit with Putin goes, he'll face criticism from Democrats and the media.

"I think having meetings with the President of China was a very good thing".

Putin suggested USA investigators might travel to Russia to participate in questioning Russians accused by Washington of US election meddling as long as Russian investigators were allowed to do the same with US spies operating in Russia, an idea Trump's critics dismissed as ludicrous.

Perhaps for this reason, the Finnish capital was the venue for talks in 2008 between the then chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, Mike Mullen, and Russian military chief Nikolai Makarov in the wake of Russia's war on Georgia.

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"It has had a negative impact upon the relationship between of two largest nuclear powers in the world".

Trump landed in the capital city, Helsinki, late Sunday. "However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we can not exclusively focus on the past - as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!"

The EU Co-President Donald Tusk seemed to disagree with Trump, calling his statement "fake news".

He revealed that he had not thought about asking for the extradition of 12 Russians indicted for allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

As U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, many Americans are wondering if the Kremlin is trying to derail November's U.S. midterm elections.

EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, also said the United States has remained a "friend" of the 28-nation bloc, adding "a change in the administration does not change the friendship between countries and peoples".

Trump's comments differ from his previous position.

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He declined to discuss his goals, but said such sessions are beneficial and cited his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

When asked last month if he would recognize Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, he replied: "We're going to have to see". As if the stakes were not high enough to begin with, the importance of the Trump-Putin Summit has increased exponentially.

A post-NATO trip to Britain, supposedly America's partner in a "special relationship", was riddled with controversy as well. A Finnish man, who works as an elderly-care nurse, held a sign in English and Russian saying "Putin prison for lifetime".

The two leaders met one-on-one for more than two hours, with just their interpreters present, before they were joined by their national security teams.

Top Democrats including party chairman Tom Perez have urged Mr Trump to abandon the talks, saying Mr Putin was "not a friend of the United States".

Strzok was removed from the investigation following the discovery of anti-Trump text messages a year ago that he traded with an FBI lawyer in the run-up to the 2016 election.

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