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Putin-Trump summit set for July 16 in Helsinki

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A long-awaited summit between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will take place in Helsinki on July 16, the Kremlin and the White House said in simultaneous statements Thursday.

"An agreement has been reached that on July 16 in Helsinki there will be a meeting between the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the President of the United States Donald Trump," the Kremlin said.

The talks will see the two leaders discuss "the current state and prospects for development of Russian-US relations," according to the release.

A statement from the White House said the men would also broach "a range of national security issues."

Trump's national security advisor John Bolton met Putin in Moscow on Wednesday. The two discussed the details of the first full summit between the presidents.

US-Russian relations have hit lows not seen since the Cold War over Moscow's annexation of Crimea, its involvement in eastern Ukraine and allegations of political meddling, as well as disagreement over the Syrian conflict.

Trump said on Wednesday he expected the discussions to be wide-ranging.

"I think we'll be talking about Syria. I think we'll be talking about Ukraine. I think we'll be talking about many other subjects. And we'll see what happens. You never know about meetings what happens, right?" the president said.

Since coming to power last year, Trump has sought to improve relations with Putin amid tensions between Moscow and the West.

Trump said this month that Russia should be re-admitted to the G7 group of industrialized democracies from which it was suspended after annexing Crimea in 2014.

That comment came at a summit which ended in sharp disagreement between Trump and his G7 allies.

Trump is due to attend the July 11 and 12 NATO summit in Brussels before heading to Britain to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II on July 13.



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