MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump will hold a summit in Helsinki on July 16, the Kremlin and the White House announced Thursday.
A terse synchronized statement said the two presidents will discuss bilateral issues and international relations. The announcement comes a day after Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks with Russian officials in Moscow to lay the groundwork for the summit.
“I’ve said it from day one, getting along with Russia and with China and with everybody is a very good thing,” Trump said Wednesday. “It’s good for the world. It’s good for us. It’s good for everybody.”
He said they would discuss Syria, Ukraine and “many other subjects.”
Putin had two brief meetings with Trump on the sidelines of international summits last year, but plans for a full-fledged summit have been thrown back amid the U.S. investigations into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Ahead of the announcement, Trump repeated Russian denials of election interference, tweeting “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!”
Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election! Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn’t Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2018
Trump has continually parroted the Kremlin’s denial of election interference, a move that has put him out of step with the findings of the U.S. intelligence community and nearly all Democrats and Republicans in Congress, who say there’s clear evidence of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is likely to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo within the next two weeks as part of efforts to set the stage for the summit.
Ryabkov said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies Thursday that Moscow already has made a proposal regarding the specifics of the meeting and is waiting for Washington’s answer.