Trump will meet one-on-one with Putin, ambassador confirms

Trump Plans to Raise Russian Election-Meddling With Putin

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President Donald Trump is prepared to discuss Russian election meddling and other "malign" activities when he meets one-on-one with President Vladimir Putin later this month, the U.S. ambassador to Russia said.

The summint in Helsinki will be the first full-fledged meeting of the two leaders since Trump's taking office in January 2017.

Huntsman said Trump would address the election interference in his conversations with Putin, along with a range of other national security issues, including Russia's annexation of Crimea and its efforts in Syria.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin will meet alone at the summit because the president decided that this is the right time for direct communication, said Mr. Huntsman.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Ambassador Jon Huntsman said the private meeting on July 16 will be followed by an expanded bilateral meeting with officials from both countries as well as a working lunch.

In addition, a private meeting has raised eyebrows due to an ongoing investigation from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. He will meet with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders the week before in Brussels.

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Mr. Huntsman said the president recognizes the challenge of dealing with Russian Federation, and that every president since the end of the Cold War has failed to improve the relationship.

President Donald Trump, a political impresario and disrupter, is never happier than when holding the world in thrall.

Trump has expressed scorn for the alliance and is expected to upbraid European NATO members for not spending enough on their own defense. One official who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity said "we're entering with our eyes wide open" but "the ball really is in Russia's court" when it comes to changing their behavior.

Mr. Huntsman said the president believes an improved relationship with Russian Federation is in both countries' interest and in the interest of world peace.

Earlier this week, Trump said that he was planning to "talk to him [Putin] about everything", mentioning such issues as Syria, Ukraine and claims of Russian meddling in the United States election in 2016.

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