Trump and Putin to meet July 16 in Helsinki

Posted on FEB 20, 2019

The meeting will occur after NATO summit meetings in Brussels, and could exacerbate worsening American relations with European allies.

President Trump plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16 for a one-on-one summit, the White House said on Thursday, a politically fragile meeting that will take place while the special counsel continues to investigate the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia.

The New York Times reports that it will bethe first formal summit meetingfor Trump and Putin, who have met each other twice on the sidelines of annual gatherings of world leaders, and it will come at a particularly critical moment as midterm elections approach in the United States.

"The two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russia, and a range of national security issues," the White House said in a statement.

The Helsinki talks, which will occur after NATO summit meetings in Brussels on July 11 and 12, could exacerbate worsening American relations with European allies as it eases tensions with Russia, according to The Times.

Trump sent his national security adviser, John Bolton, to Moscow, where he met on Wednesday with Putin.

Afterward, Putin's aide,Yuri Ushakov, repeated Russia's denial that it tried to influence the United States presidential election in 2016, comments that Trump cited Thursday in a Twitter post before the meeting was announced.

"Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!"Trump tweeted.

Trump has also said he would consider inviting Putin to the White House, The Times reports, which would be the first visit by the Russian leader since 2005