US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Finland’s capital on July 16th, according to statements issued by the White House and the Kremlin.
The meeting will take place a day after the football World Cup final in Moscow, and a few days after the NATO summit in Brussels on 11-12 July, which both Trump and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö are to attend. The exact location of the summit has not yet been announced.
The White House said the two leaders will discuss US-Russian relations and “a range of national security issues.”
In its statement, the Kremlin said that the leaders will discuss “the current state and prospects of further development of Russian-US relations and also vital issues of the international agenda,” according to Russian news agency TASS.
What will be on the agenda?
President Niinistö issued a statement on Thursday saying he was contacted last week by high-level US and Russian officials about the possibility of a meeting between Trump and Putin.
Niinistö expressed the hope that Trump and Putin would discuss arms control and disarmament issues, adding that “even small steps in reducing tensions would be in everybody’s interest”.
Niinistö said that in his own conversations with the presidents, he intends “to take up our concerns on the tense situation in the Baltic Sea region as well as our Arctic objectives, in particular common efforts to tackle black carbon emissions”.
A Kremlin aide, Yuri Ushakov told reporters earlier that location of Helsinki is convenient for both sides, according to TASS.
TASS reports that the meeting is likely to last several hours and that there will be a protocol event, a one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin and a joint news conference.
Ushakov suggested it is possible that the leaders could make a joint statement after the summit.
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Finland: What makes Finland a meeting point for superpowers?, Yle News
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Russia: Russia’s Northern Fleet launches surprise, large-scale exercise in Barents Sea, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Sweden reluctantly greenlights construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Radio Sweden
United States: American fighter jets intercept Russian bombers outside Alaska, Alaska Public Media