Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump have met in Helsinki for their first full-scale summit meeting. Before this, Putin and Trump had met on the sidelines of various international events.
The Russia-US summit began with a one-on-one meeting, to be followed by talks that will be attended by the Russian and US delegations.
Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will discuss ways to normalize bilateral relations, as well as current international issues, primarily the situation in Ukraine, Syria and the Korean Peninsula, the fight against terrorism, amid other issues.
Following the talks, the two presidents will make statements for the press and answer questions from media representatives.
Following are comments by Putin and Trump, at the beginning of meeting, as released by the Kremlin.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I am delighted to meet with you here, in Helsinki, the capital of hospitable Finland.
We have maintained regular contact. Over the past few months, we have talked on the phone and also met several times at various international events.
Of course, the time has come to hold in-depth discussions on bilateral relations and global problems, the number of which shows that we must devote our attention to them.
(In English.) Thank you very much.
President of the United States of America Donald Trump: First of all, Mr President, I would like to congratulate you on a really great World Cup, one of the best ever, from what everybody tells me, one of the best ever, and also for your team itself doing so well.
I watched quite a bit. In the United States we call it soccer, and I watched quite a bit of it. And I watched the entire final, and the semi-finals, and they were really spectacular games, and it was beautifully done. So congratulations, on that.
Most importantly, we have a lot of good things to talk about, and things to talk about. We have discussions on everything from trade to military, to missiles, to nuclear, to China. We will be talking a little bit about China, our mutual friend President Xi.
I think we have great opportunities together as two countries, and frankly we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years. I have been here not too long, but it is getting close to two years. But I think that we will end up having an extraordinary relationship. I hope so. I have been saying it, and I am sure that you have heard over the years, as I campaigned, that getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.
And I really think the world wants to see us get along. We are the two great nuclear powers, we have 90 percent of the nuclear, and that is not a good thing, it is a bad thing. I think we can hopefully do something about that because it is not a positive force, it is a negative force. So we will be talking about that among other things.
And with that the world awaits, and I look forward to our personal discussion which I thinks begins now, and then we are going to meet our whole team. You have quite a few representatives, and I do. We all have a lot of questions, and ultimately we will come up with answers, most importantly. It is great to be with you.
Thank you very much. Thank you everybody.