After Donald Trump’s sojourn in Scotland, the US President is expected to head to Helsinki, Finland where he and Vladimir Putin will hold their first official summit since he was inaugurated in hopes to strike a ‘peace deal’.
Reports have revealed that Trump may question the Russian President about the 2016 presidential election meddling, as well as discuss conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and sanctions that have been imposed by both countries against each other.
President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit
He then went on to mention how 60 intelligence officers were expelled from the Russian embassy in Washington in response to the nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal.
Speaking to reporters at Chequers, Trump spoke about how Russia have denied any involvement in the attack and Putin is expected to do the same at the Helsinki summit when the 2016 election is discussed in relation to the country’s influence against Hillary Clinton.
‘I’m not going in with high expectations but we may come out with very surprising things,’ Trump said, and added that building a relationship with the Russian President was his priority, because it would be ‘good for Russia, good for everybody’.
‘That would be a tremendous achievement if we could do something on nuclear proliferation,’ he said. May highlighted that Trump would be entering a negotiation with the 29-strong NATO military alliance united behind him.
May said: ‘We agree that it is important to engage Russia from a position of strength and unity and that we should continue to deter and counter all efforts to undermine our democracies.’
Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump talk during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit
Here’s everything you need to know about the summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
When is the Trump Putin summit in Helsinki?
The Helsinki summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will be held in Finland’s capital on July 16, 2018, as has been announced by the White House and Kremlin.
What will be discussed during the Helsinki summit?
While the main topics of conversation will be foreign policy and Russian interference in 2016 as Vice President Mike Pence confirmed, other subjects such as Russia’s support of the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the 2014 annexation of Crimea region of Ukraine may also be discussed, as reported in Time.
Pence said: ‘There are a broad range of issues the President’s going to talk about that need to be addressed.’ He added that this would include the ‘economic relationship with the United States and Russia and countries of the world’.
When questioned whether or not this discussion of the relationship between countries would include election meddling, Pence said: ‘I think there will be a lot of stuff that comes up. He’s discussed that with President Putin before. I would anticipate that he will discuss that with him again.’
Unlike Trump, Putin does not need a big deal out of this meeting in order to feel as if the summit has been a success, as is explained in RFE/RL. Analysis in the Russian newspaper Vedomosti echoed these claims.
‘For Putin, everything that is not a clear failure will seem like a success, while for Trump everything that’s not an obvious victory will be interpreted by his critics as a failure, so there will be no firm commitments.
‘Of course, we cannot expect breakthroughs like at the meeting of the heads of the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. in Reykjavik in 1986 (and Putin and Trump are not Gorbachev and Reagan),’ the article read. Trump will need to identify whether or not Russia is misbehaving, while also thawing tensions.
With American relations with Russia being as strained since the Cold War, both Presidents will need to ensure that they are on the same page, especially when it comes to speaking about nuclear arsenals and arms control.
This will be the third face-to-face meeting between the world leaders but the first full summit. Trump and Putin first met at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany and the second was in Vietnam during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.
By repeatedly denying that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election was an attempt to delegitimize him, Trump has tried to thaw tensions between both countries on Twitter.
‘Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election! Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn’t Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption!,’ Trump tweeted.