Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump departs United Kingdom with 'low expectations' for summit with Putin in Finland

Trump departs United Kingdom with 'low expectations' for summit with Putin in Finland

What has Mr Trump been doing so far in Europe?

Trump has suggested there likely will be few quantifiable results from the summit, telling CBS in an interview this weekend he is going into the meeting with "low expectations".

The brash billionaire property magnate has been President for 18 months, while the 65-year-old former KGB officer has run Russian Federation for the past 18 years. The leaders also met last fall during a separate summit in Vietnam.

"The collective blood pressure between the United States and Russian Federation is off-the-charts high so it's a good thing these presidents are getting together", he added. "I go in with low expectations- I'm not going with high expectations", Mr Trump told CBS News.

The grand jury charges shine a brighter spotlight on Trump's treatment of Putin, who has repeatedly denied Russian Federation sought to skew the election which Trump, a Republican, unexpectedly won.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser John Bolton, at least prior to joining the White House, have both been more critical of Moscow than the president they serve.

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He is scheduled to meet with Putin on Monday in Helsinki, Finland.

But the summit, and the extent of Trump's emphasis on election meddling, could highlight a divide between him and his own advisers, not to mention other Republicans, about the seriousness of Russia's activities.

"It isn't a summit", U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman told NBC'S "Meet the Press".

The Russian Foreign Ministry rejected last week's indictment as part of a "shameful comedy" staged by those in the U.S. who try to prevent the normalization of Russia-U.S. ties, arguing that it doesn't contain evidence to back the accusations.

"I really would feel much better if there were other Americans in the room".

On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced a grand jury indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers on charges of hacking the computer networks of 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.

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Other guests are set to include leaders from business sectors, celebrating the business links between the United Kingdom and US. But Mr Trump appeared to link Brexit to the current trade dispute between the USA and European Union over steel and aluminium.

"It doesn't feel good to have them here", said Anna Bruun, a civil servant who said she was opposed to "great power politics" playing out in her home city.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well I might. But I certainly, I'll be asking about it. But for the United States, and frankly the U.K. and other places, to get along with Russian Federation and China and all of these other places...that's a good thing, that's not a bad thing.

Will Russia hand over the 12 intelligence officers indicted for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election?

U.S. recognition of the Crimea grab by Russian Federation in 2014 and an end to the sanctions would be part of the mix.

But of all the topics that may come up in the meetings it is Syria that may prove most important. "We have to assume - and if we have proof that they did it, which it sounds like we [do] - we should now spend our time protecting ourselves instead of having this witch hunt on the president", Paul continued.

Reports suggest he may seek a deal that Russian Federation work with Israel to contain Iran's influence, in exchange for allowing Mr. Putin's ally Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. "That would rattle the allies", said one US diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Earlier, he had tweeted before leaving for the capital of Finland.

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