Trump and Putin to hold talks in Helsinki in mid-July

Hannah Rogers
July 4, 2018

"He wasn't always going to agree with what Britain or France or whatever wanted, but you knew ultimately you were close allies and friends", he told Zakaria. Another source noted that always "agreed it was hard to know what Trump might say when he met Putin".

On Thursday, CNN reported that Trump had hoped to clinch a deal with Putin in Helsinki that would allow for prompt pullout of USA troops from Syria.

Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russian Federation by the United States in response, and its military intervention in the war in Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad are major causes of strain in the two countries' relations.

Bolton also said he discussed Russia's annexation of Crimea with Putin and his aides during a 90-minute meeting. America wants other members to spend more money on the military alliance needs, but that is not all. Trump feuded with Group of Seven leaders during a summit in Canada last month over trade, abruptly dropping support for a routine joint statement.

Trump has reluctantly approved the dispatch of USA anti-tank missiles to support Ukraine forces, and other senior US officials continue to insist sanctions will remain until Moscow backs down.

On June 29, Trump declined to rule out recognizing Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

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"NATO is very interesting, we'll see what happens there. He understands what the strategic interests are, and that's what he's trying to pursue".

Trump and Putin will meet in the Finnish capital to mend the bilateral relations and discuss a range of national security issues, the White House and the Kremlin announced on Thursday.

The president was obviously not intentionally referring to the discord caused in the his election and the subsequent actions of him and his administration, but rather the discord which has resulted from the Russian Federation investigation.

"The two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russian Federation and a range of national security issues", the statement said. Last summer, during his first one-on-one meeting with Putin, in Hamburg, Germany, Trump said that he questioned Putin about the interference accusations and that the Russian leader denied it. We are going to talk about the election. "They did meddle in our election, and they're doing it again in 2018". "And I think he looks at Putin, he thinks there's a guy who controls his own parliament, doesn't have dissent, controls his media, basically has far more power than the size of his country and his economy might indicate, and he wants to be like that", Campbell told Zakaria.

Information for this article was contributed by David Nakamura of The Washington Post; and by Christopher Condon, Craig Torres, Huang Zhe and Mark Niquette of Bloomberg News.

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