US President Donald Trump will be taking up the issues concerning Syria, Ukraine, elections among other global events when he meets his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16. This would be Trump’s first summit with Putin, even though the leaders have met twice in the last one and half year.
Trump and Putin will also be discussing a range of national security issues in their meet in the Finnish capital to mend the bilateral relations, the White House and the Kremlin announced on Thursday.
“We’re going to be talking about Ukraine, we’re going to be talking about Syria, we’re going to be talking about elections. We don’t want anybody tampering with elections. We’ll be talking about world events,” Trump said.
“We’ll be talking about peace. We may even talk about saving millions of dollars on weapons… we are building a force like nobody’s ever seen before,” he told reporters when asked about his meeting with Putin next month.
The summit meet was announcement after President Putin met US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who was in Moscow this week to lay the groundwork for the summit.
“Perhaps the world can de-escalate with China, Russia…may be the world can somewhat deescalate. That would not be a bad thing. But I think having a relationship with China, Russia…it’s a good thing,” Trump said.
Asked about lifting of sanctions on Russia, Trump appeared to be non-committal. “We’ll see what Russia does. We’re going to be talking to Russia about a lot of things. We’re going to be talking to them about Syria,” he said.
Responding to a question on NATO, Trump reiterated that other countries had to spend more.
“NATO is very interesting, we’ll see what happens there. Germany has to spend more money, Spain, France, it’s not fair what they’ve done to the United States,” he said, adding that the US is paying much more disproportionately to anyone else.
From the beginning of his presidential campaign, Trump has insisted that he wants a better relationship with Russia, asserting that it will be good for the US and for the world.
However, he has been facing backlash from the Opposition Democrats and the think-tank community who believe that Russia under Putin interfered in the 2016 presidential election, even though Moscow has denied the allegations.