Trump meets Finnish President ahead of Putin summit

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Helsinki, July 16 (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Monday met his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto for breakfast here, just hours ahead of his first official summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other senior US officials, thanked Niinisto for his hospitality as host of the summit and praised his role in the NATO, reports Efe news.

“We had a fantastic meeting a few days ago, some of you were there, it was a very successful meeting. NATO has never been more together. People are now agreeing to pay. They’re paying more rapidly. And it’s probably never been stronger than it is today,” Trump said.

He described the NATO summit, held last week in Brussels, as “tough” at first but that “turned out to be love”.

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Asked about his summit with Putin, he told a reporter: “We’ll be just fine, thank you.”

Shortly ahead of the breakfast meeting, Trump had tweeted saying that his country’s relationship with Russia “has never been worse”, due to allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.

Putin and Trump are expected to discuss the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts along with accusations against Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

–IANS

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