Jul 17 2018 by Lorena Waters
Trump said in a Saturday interview he had "low expectations" for the meeting, and planned to ask about extraditing the indicted intelligence officers. Their first meeting came last July while both participated in an global summit and continued for more than two hours, well over the scheduled 30 minutes.
Donald Trump described the European Union one of his greatest "foes" in another extraordinary diplomatic intervention on Sunday, just hours before sitting down to a high-stakes summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.Asked in a TV interview to name his "biggest foe globally right now", the United States president started by naming the European Union, calling the body "very difficult" before ticking off other traditional rivals like Russia and China.
"He'll listen to President Putin's response, and we'll go from there".
The Russian government allegedly interfered in the election in order to increase political instability in the USA and damage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign by boosting other candidates Trump, Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein.
But for Putin, merely getting Trump to sit across the table counts as "an informal recognition of Russian Federation as a great power", political analyst Alexei Malashenko said.
"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 said during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press".
"There is no question that Russian Federation interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world", he said.
The Obama administration did, in fact, take action, including confronting Putin in person as well as expelling almost three dozen Russian diplomats the USA said were actually intelligence operatives and imposing new sanctions. The two world leaders are expected to meet one-on-one before allowing other aides to join in on their conversation. "He declined to support the U.S". But he would welcome a symbolic end to Western protests over Crimea and Moscow's attempts to destabilize elections and traditional Western alliances and norms.
Trump flew to Finland, the final stop on a weeklong trip that began last Tuesday, from Scotland.
The US President said they would talk about a range of subjects, listing trade, the military, nuclear weapons and China.
"NATO is now strong and rich!"
Kosachev said it would be "pointless" to discuss Russian meddling in the US election, which Moscow firmly denies. The visit heaped more trouble on the transatlantic alliance after Trump ripped into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in Brussels for not spending enough on defence, and rebuked Germany for building an energy pipeline from Russian Federation which he said would leave Europe's biggest economy beholden to Moscow. "That I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!" Trump regularly criticizes American news media outlets and has called out some journalists by name.
He said: "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade". "It's a matter of what he did today, what he said today".
Ryan also responded to Trump's critical comments about the Russian Federation investigation, defending the work conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other officials.
Putin was due to arrive in Helsinki just ahead of the talks on Monday.
Trump said: "I enjoyed being with you a couple of days ago".
House Speaker Paul Ryan said there was "no question" that the Russians had interfered. This meeting is so informal that it's being described as a "getting to know you". Trump leaned forward in his chair, his hands tented in front of him and frequently glanced over at the Russian president.
But the United States leader would not say whether he would demand the extradition of 12 Russian intelligence officers who were indicted last week by USA special prosecutor Robert Mueller. In the interview, CBS's Jeff Glor asked Trump, "Who's your biggest competitor, your biggest foe globally right now?"
Just this past week, Trump's director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, compared the danger of Russian cyberattacks to the terrorist threat posed to the United States in the run-up to 9/11. Russia's constitution forbids the extradition of its own citizens.
Putin is likely to strongly reaffirm his denial of any meddling and cast the U.S. charges as unfounded.
The US has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum against the European Union and other allies, sparking retaliation.
One possible agreement could see Washington give a tacit go-ahead for a Syrian army deployment along the border with Israel in exchange for the withdrawal of Iranian forces and their Hezbollah proxies, whose presence in the area represents a red line for Israel.
"This meeting is crucial because it may send an important signal to many other countries in the world that such great powers are capable of making agreements despite a large number of contradictions, they are also capable of finding ways to resolve issues and show their readiness to find solutions", Bystritsky noted.
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