Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have kicked off their summit in Helsinki, Finland, with the U.S. president saying he hopes it’s the beginning of an “extraordinary relationship” between them.
In brief opening remarks before the main talks, Trump praised Putin and Russia for hosting a “beautiful” World Cup, saying he enjoyed watching the final and semifinals. Trump said the two would be discussing “everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear to China,” but did not mention Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
“Frankly, we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years,” said Trump. “I’ve been here not too long, it’s getting close to two years, but I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship. I hope so. I’ve been saying and I’m sure you’ve heard over the years, and as I campaign, that getting along with Russia is a good thing not a bad thing.” The U.S. president hinted that he will be discussing a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons held by the two countries, saying the weapons are “not a positive force, it’s a negative force.” The leaders are due to hold a news conference after their talks later in the afternoon. Read more at The Guardian.