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Trump and Putin to hold summit talks as twitchy West looks on

Trump and Putin to hold summit talks as twitchy West looks on”

The meeting was condemned in advance by an assortment of members of Congress from both parties after the US indictment last week of 12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump.

Trump said he's going into Helsinki with low expectations, according to an excerpt of the interview.

Though U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation intervened in the U.S. election to help Trump's election chances, the president has at times said he believes Putin's denials of involvement.

"Frankly, we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years [.] I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship", Trump said. "But, obviously, it is high time to discuss in detail our bilateral relations and various painful topics of the global agenda - there are quite a lot of them", the Russian leader said at the beginning of his talks with Trump.

There have been calls in the US for Mr Trump to cancel his meeting with Mr Putin over the indictments, announced on Friday by US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

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Greeting each other at Finland's presidential palace, Trump said the World Cup soccer tournament that ended in Russia Sunday night was "one of the best ever". "Now you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe". He adds: "You wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe".

Russian commentators and editorialists who consider the European Union hostile, troublesome or irrelevant welcomed Trump's criticism of longtime European allies as "foes" to the U.S. But that doesn't mean they're bad. It doesn't mean anything.

Meanwhile, US first lady Melania Trump said she and her Finnish counterpart had a "good conversation about issues facing our nations".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russia's RT TV station that he also had low expectations. "There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals". Putin hopes the meeting, mere hours after he presided over the World Cup finals, will help him forge good personal ties with Trump and focus on areas where Moscow and Washington may be able to find common ground, such as Syria.

"If I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russian Federation over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn't good enough - that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!" he tweeted.

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Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he's wary of Trump meeting alone with Putin because the Russian president is a trained KGB agent and Trump is not known for his preparation.

His one-on-one meeting with Putin lasted nearly two hours. "Well, I might", Trump said when asked about it. "And it is why I believe we are at a critical point", Coats said.

Russian President Putin overseeing naval exercises in Russia's Arctic North aboard the nuclear-missile cruiser Peter the Great in 2005.

He said European countries shouldn't be anxious about a possible US-Russian rapprochement or decisions about Europe made "over the heads of Europeans". Putin and Trump held their first talks on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty summit in Germany's Hamburg in July 2017.

Putin also denied that Russian Federation interfered in the USA election, contradicting conclusions from U.S. intelligence agencies, while acknowledging he had hoped Trump would win in 2016.

Trump orders flags at half-staff to honor newsroom shooting victims
Meanwhile, people began returning to work Monday at the Annapolis building that includes the Capital Gazette's offices. He also said the paper "stepped up security" years ago and posted the suspect's photo around the office.

While Putin acknowledged Monday that he wanted Trump to win in 2016, Trump insists he hasn't done Moscow's bidding as president.

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