‘I may ask Putin to send accused officials to U.S.’

Saul Bowman
July 16, 2018

Ahead of the summit, 12 Russian military intelligence agents were indicted for hacking Democrats during the election.

The Helsinki summit comes as one of the most important West vs East meeting since the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, however, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members countries fear Mr Putin might seek a deal that undermines the alliance.

"The number one priority for Putin is to establish communication with Trump. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe", the president said.

Trump and his top aides were downplaying expectations for Monday's summit as Trump continued to rattle allies by lumping in the European Union with Russian Federation and China after barnstorming across Europe, causing chaos at the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit and in a trip to the United Kingdom.

Who wants the summit more is hard to tell.

He now heads to Helsinki for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In fact, Trump's father was born in New York City.

His recent comments is continuing pattern in which Trump has taken a more confrontational position on European allies.

The comments prompted pushback from Germany on Monday, as Trump was meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin behind closed doors. "Of course after his meeting with Kim Jong Un, Trump can allow himself anything", Nikonov said to applause.

"The E.U.is very hard", Trump began.

"Scoring this reset 2.0 is hugely important since it validates Putin's strategy of staring down the USA with zero concessions on policy and no change in Russian posture", said Vladimir Frolov, a political analyst in Moscow. "I believe that having a meeting with Chairman Kim was a good thing".

Along with its Western allies, the USA accuses Moscow of providing military support to pro-Russian separatists fighting government forces in eastern Ukraine.

Something could be started in Helsinki that would lead to fruitful results later, he said.

"You know I love those countries". The leaders also met last fall during a separate summit in Vietnam.

Any way forward in U.S. -Russia relations can not get around the subject of election interference, which the latest indictments of 12 Russians bring back to the forefront.

Iran has fought alongside Russian Federation on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar Assad, but the extent of Moscow's direct influence on Tehran is questionable. While Putin initially brushed aside theaccusationsas part of a domestic political struggle inside the USA, the Kremlin now appreciates how important the issue is in Washington, said foreign policy expert Lukyanov.

Asked about people "surprised" to hear the European Union come before Russian Federation and China, Trump responded that "the European Union is very hard".

There will be outrage at home if Trump does not confront Putin over the scandal, but the mercurial USA leader would not say whether he would demand the suspects' extradition.

The idea that Russian Federation had worked to influence the vote that year was first posited by USA intelligence agencies during the administration of Barack Obama, but confidence in that culpability only grew once Trump was inaugurated.

Putin's challenge will be to come up with an answer that the USA president can take back home.

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