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Trump arrives in Finland for summit with Putin

Trump arrives in Finland for summit with Putin

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin each expressed optimism at their summit in Helsinki on Monday, a meeting that ended with a controversial joint news conference.

Trump arrived Monday afternoon at the Finnish presidential palace for what he has called a summit with Putin, hoping once again that his personal touch can reverse the steep decline in US-Russia relations in recent years.

Trump had congratulated his opposite number on Russia's successful hosting of the competition, which came to a climax on Sunday a day before the Helsinki summit.

He said their discussions would involve trade, the military, missiles, nuclear weapons and China, including their "mutual friend" China's Xi Jinping.

"I beat Hillary Clinton easily and frankly we beat her..."

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Moscow hopes that the upcoming summit of the Russian and U.S. presidents in Helsinki will allow to take a step away from the current crisis in bilateral relations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RT broadcaster in an interview.

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will discuss ways to normalize bilateral relations, as well as current global issues, primarily the situation in Ukraine, Syria and the Korean Peninsula, the fight against terrorism, amid other issues. "I really think the world wants to see us get along".

Trump also said the leaders would discuss reducing their nuclear arsenals, telling reporters: 'We are the two great nuclear powers.

Speaking in front of media before the closed-door summit Trump said that getting along with Russian Federation would be a "good thing, not a bad thing".

But Trump has insisted it is "a good thing to meet".

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Hours earlier, Trump lambasted his own government for poor US relations with Russian Federation.

Russian Federation hoped however that the summit would be "the first step" in overcoming a crisis in relations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia's RT TV station. He also opined that Putin "gained a tremendous amount" from the summit, and he scolded Trump for caring more how world leaders "treat him personally" than doing something to challenge Putin for his meddling in American institutions.

The summit, which was being closely monitored by rattled world capitals, was condemned in advance by members of Congress from both parties after the USA indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump's presidential campaign.

Foreign policy experts have raised concerns that during one-on-one talks without a clear agenda, Trump might seek to make a grand gesture that offers Putin serious concessions on Crimea, Syria or Ukraine.

"Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. It will be determined by the heads of state themselves as they go along".

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"Well, I think we have a lot of foes".