Putin summit set for Helsinki, Finland on July 16

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The Russian leader had two brief meetings with Trump on the sidelines of worldwide summits previous year, but plans for a full-fledged summit have been thrown back amid the USA investigations into alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia by Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mr Trump is due to attend the July 11 and 12 NatoATO summit in Brussels before heading to Britain to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II on July 13. However, Putin and Trump talked on the sidelines of the forum and adopted a joint statement on Syria.

Finland served as a venue for a 1975 meeting between US President Gerald Ford and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and also hosted a summit between U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990.

Bolton, who past year called Russian election interference "a true act of war", seemed to comply with the Trump administration Wednesday, at least as far as any possible collusion between the president's 2016 campaign and Russian operatives.

Trump's summit with Putin is likely to draw criticism from the US President's domestic critics, who accuse him of currying favor with Putin, and jitter US allies, who fear Trump will take a less hawkish position with Russia on issues like the annexation of Crimea and military exercises near the Russian border in eastern Europe.

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg played down worries about the summit saying it was in line with the alliance's own policies which advocated dialogue with Moscow. He added, "President Trump believes so strongly that it was time to have this kind of meeting and as you can see, President Putin agreed".

"What people are anxious about is the president going into this meeting (with Putin) with a weaker hand if he is seen as blowing up alliances and not having a very good trip to London", said Fried, now at the Washington-based Atlantic Council.

"Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!" he tweeted Thursday. That makes it logistically easier for Trump to meet with Putin on the continent, as well as afford him the aforementioned symbolism of leaving North Atlantic Treaty Organisation turf for his Putin powwow. He declined to comment on U.S. media reports that the summit would be held in Helsinki.

"Both President Trump and President Putin feel that it's important for these two leaders of these two critically important countries to get together and discuss their mutual problems and areas of cooperation". "President Obama gave away Crimea".

During the campaign, when the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced they were "confident" Russian Federation directed email hacks related to the election, Trump dismissed their conclusion.

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