World

Putin, Trump will hold their 1st summit in Helsinki on July 16

Both the White House and the Kremlin confirmed on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin will meet in three weeks in Finland.

Trump will meet the Russian leader on the heels of a NATO summit with allies he's clashed with

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, shown during their meeting at the G20 Summit in Hamburg in July 2017, are set to meet in Helsinki next week, after Trump attends a NATO leaders' meeting. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

The Kremlin and the White House say the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump will take place in Helsinki on July 16.

"The two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues," the White House said in a statement.

The synchronized announcement comes a day after Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks with Russian officials in Moscow to lay the groundwork for the summit.

Trump is expected to be in Europe earlier in the week, with the NATO summit taking place in Brussels on July 11-12. There, Trump will see many of the leaders from a contentious G7 summit earlier this month in Quebec.

Trump said Wednesday that "getting along with Russia and with China and with everybody is a very good thing." He said they would discuss Syria, Ukraine and "many other subjects."

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

Trump repeats Russia denial

The announcement came just after Trump on Thursday morning launched yet another broadside on social media that appeared more concerned about perceived rogue elements inside the FBI than attempted Russian interference in the last election.

"Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!," Trump exclaimed on Twitter, eliciting a questioning response from Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader in the Senate, who pressed him to agree to an interview with Mueller.

Late last year, the U.S. president said he believed Putin's in-person denial of Russian involvement when the pair met.

High-ranking U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Russia attempted to meddle in the last presidential election, through propaganda on social media and cyberattacks, and believe they will attempt to do so again for the November midterms.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is likely to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo within the next two weeks as part of efforts to set the stage for the summit.

Ryabkov said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies Thursday that Moscow already has made a proposal regarding the specifics of the meeting and is waiting for Washington's answer.

The summit would offer Putin a chance to try to persuade Washington to lift some of the sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea, interference in eastern Ukraine's separatist fighting and alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Pompeo said the administration continues to support those sanctions.

With files from CBC News

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