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Putin summit opens without talk of election meddling

17 July 2018

Standing next to Russia's Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump openly questioned his own intelligence agencies' conclusions that Moscow was to blame for meddling in the 2016 USA election to Trump's benefit and seemed to accept Putin's insistence that Russia's hands were clean.

Donald Trump has dealt a fresh blow to hopes that he will confront the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, over election interference as they met, blaming the USA rather than Moscow for poor diplomatic relations.

In a tweet this morning Trump blamed poor US-Russia relations on "many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"- referring to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

The Russian foreign ministry responded by liking Trump's tweet and then replying: "We agree". "Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"

Friday's USA indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence agents over the meddling controversy exploded with embarrassing timing for Trump he prepared to meet Putin.

"It shows that the justice system, the Department of Justice, are aware of these Russian efforts in election meddling, and I think the president can put this on the table and say, 'This is a serious matter that we need to talk about".

In a March 1 speech, Putin detailed several new nuclear weapons, each time stressing that United States defenses could not handle the new designs.

"I think it's a good thing to meet".

Russian Federation in early July raised import duties on some USA imported goods in response to steep tariffs announced by the U.S. on its steel and aluminium, part of a global trade war.

Many world leaders condemned the Crimean peninsula being annexed from Ukraine by the Russian Federation in 2014, as they deemed it to be a violation of worldwide law. It's normal." At the closing press conference, Putin, riding high after hosting a successful World Cup, unveiled a gift he'd brought for Trump: "a red and white soccer ball, which he tossed to Trump at the neighboring lectern.

But after the talks, both leaders welcomed the meeting as a "good start" and a "very successful" one.

"Very good start", Trump said in response to reporters as the leaders were joined by senior officials for further discussions.

The indictments of the 12 Russian military officials just days before the meeting offered Trump a clear roadmap for what to discuss with Putin. If we add this to the earlier joke about Russian Federation influencing the USA election, then it all together will sound rather ridiculous: as if we influenced the United States presidential election and he gave us Europe in return.

No mention of Russia interference in the presidential election, the 12 Russian military officers indicted in the USA on Friday for election tampering, Russian's annexation of territory in Crimea, etc.

The United States will not look for "deliverables" from Monday's summit with Russian Federation, stressing that talks will be "unstructured", US national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.

Protesters have been on the streets of Helsinki to denounce the policies of both Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin.

The summit, which is being closely watched around the world, was not the first time Trump and Putin have held talks.

"I don't believe in walking into the room with a world leader who's an enemy, who's a strategic threat unless you have a specific game plan", Rosenberg told CBN News. I think that we're all to blame. Democrats have expressed concerns about Trump's ability to sit down and challenge Putin during a one-on-one meeting.

Mr. Trump said he had raised the issue of alleged Russian meddling in US elections.

Trump downplayed his ties to Putin, saying they've met only a few times.

But there are many points of friction that could yet spoil Trump's hoped-for friendship with his wily opposite number, who has run Russian Federation for 18 years.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said he hoped the summit would be "the first step" in overcoming a crisis in diplomatic relations.

Putin pushed back against claims that his government interfered in the US election.