Trump-Putin meet likely to be held in a third country

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US President Donald Trump said that he will probably meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in July, during his scheduled trip to Europe. “We’ll probably be meeting sometime around my trip to Europe,” Trump told reporters at the White House during his meeting with visiting Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

The location could be in Helsinki or Vienna, he added.  Trump is set to attend the NATO Summit in Brussels on July 11-12 and then visit Britain.

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He also said the talks with Putin will focus on Syria and Ukraine.

Kremlin said earlier on Wednesday that the two presidents are expected to meet in a third country, with the date and venue to be announced on Thursday. The remarks came after Putin’s closed-door meeting with visiting US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Moscow where the two sides discussed the summit, nuclear arms control and other bilateral issues.

Trump last met Putin in Vietnam on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in November.

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The bilateral relations are strained due to Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, among other thorny issues. Moreover, Trump signed a bill last August, that won a sweeping majority vote in both houses of Congress to impose sanctions on Russia. Afterward, the Trump administration also imposed a string of sanctions over Russia’s allegedly “threatening” activities against the United States.

Earlier this month, Putin signed into law a bill which allows him to respond to sanctions by the United States and other “unfriendly states.”

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