US and Russian leader to hold summit in Finland

US President Donald Trump(R) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin

US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will hold a summit in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, next month.

The White House says they will meet on 16 July and discuss relations between the two countries and a ‘range of national security issues.’

The summit was announced on Wednesday after US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Mr Putin met in Moscow.

After meeting Mr Putin, Mr Bolton told reporters that his visit had been at the request of Mr Trump who wanted to explore ‘the possibility of a meeting.’

Improving relations
Both leaders wanted to use the summit to improve relations between their countries, Mr Bolton said.

“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 co-operation,” he said.

“It’s something that I think both feel will contribute to improvements in the US-Russia bilateral relationship and in stability around the world,” Mr Bolton stated.

Restoration of relations
President Putin said his meeting with Mr Bolton had raised hopes for a full restoration of relations, which he admitted were not in the best of shape.

Mr Putin insisted Moscow had never sought confrontation and that, in his view, the poor state of relations was a result of fierce political confrontation inside the US itself.

President Trump and President Putin last met in November in Vietnam at an Asia-Pacific summit.

War in Syria
Mr Trump had said he would discuss the war in Syria and the situation in Ukraine with his Russian counterpart at the summit.

Mercy Chukwudiebere