Finns protest Trump-Putin meeting

Finns protest Trump-Putin meeting

President Donald Trump headed into his first summit with Vladimir Putin on Monday determined to forge a personal bond with the Kremlin chief and adamant that only "stupidity" by prior administrations had brought US-Russian ties to their present low.

"Nothing bad is going to come out of it, and maybe some good will come out", he said.

"I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump said.

"We can say confidently that Putin's political risks are lower than those of President Trump", said Andrey Kortunov, head of RIAC, a Moscow think-tank close to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

But far from his prediction that the Putin meeting would be the "easiest" part of his swing through Europe, the summit comes freighted with new tensions, after 12 Russian military intelligence agents were indicted for hacking Democrats during the 2016 election. And following the president's press conference, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats again reaffirmed that the intelligence community's assessment remains unchanged.

Against that backdrop and swirling uncertainty about what Trump might do or say next, his summit with Putin, which will include a one-on-one session with the Russian leader with only interpreters present, has both USA allies and US politicians anxious lest he make hasty and sweeping concessions. Ryan said Russian Federation "remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals".

But the top Democrat in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, tweeted that many Americans can only wonder if "the only possible explanation for this unsafe behaviour is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump".

In an interview with CBS News that aired before he touched down in Helsinki, Trump admitted that Russian Federation remains a foe, but he put Moscow on a par with China and the European Union as economic and diplomatic rivals. "This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russian Federation as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves".

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Konstantin Kosachev, head of the upper house of parliament's foreign affairs committee, wrote in Izvestia that Monday's talks come at a time when "so-called "peace-loving" Europe is afraid of peace talks between US and Russian Federation". "I think that getting along with Russian Federation is a good thing".

Trump then said that he could not take a fully combative stance to the European Union because "both" of his parents were born there. On Monday, officials said another Russian agent had been arrested for seeking to influence United States politics.

In a series of tweets, Trump blamed the media for inflating expectations for the meeting with Putin. "He may come in with maps of Syria, maps of Ukraine, and, frankly, I think he'll take advantage of this President, who we know doesn't do much prep work before these meetings".

Panelists on Russia's popular Sunday night talk show "Vecher (Evening)" said Putin was going into the summit as the clearly stronger figure, notably coming off his successful hosting of the monthlong World Cup. "We need to get justice for my mum".

The US has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum against the European Union and other allies, sparking retaliation.

Putin has repeatedly denied any knowledge of interference in the US election. Trump told CBS News that he hadn't thought about requesting their extradition in the meeting, but suggested that he will ask about it.

President Donald Trump's ambassador to Moscow says he hopes Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin have "a detailed conversation about where we might be able to find some overlapping and shared interests".

"We can no longer completely rely on the White House", Heiko Maas told the Funke newspaper group. "The first clear outcome can only be that we need to align ourselves even more closely in Europe".

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