Update: And now we know the date:
- TRUMP-PUTIN SUMMIT TO BE ON JULY 16 IN HELSINKI, U.S. SAYS
Here is the official statement:
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Fox News Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts reported early Thursday morning that the White House and the Kremlin have decided on Helsinki as the location for the Trump-Putin summit, just as President Trump had suggested yesterday.
White House and Kremlin have settled on Helsinki, Finland as the location for the @realDonaldTrump – Putin summit. Date to be announced today.
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) June 28, 2018
The capital of Finland was first reported as the most likely site for the summit last week, and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has already confirmed that Finland is prepared to host the summit. Yesterday, National Security Advisor John Bolton hammered out details during a working lunch with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov before meeting President Putin. During their pre-summit meeting yesterday, Bolton and Putin reportedly discussed nuclear arms control, conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, the situation in North Korea and the Iran nuclear deal.
“Despite the political noise in the US,” direct communications between Trump and Putin are in the “best interest of our country,” Bolton said yesterday during a press conference in Moscow.
President Trump has pushed for improved relations with the Kremlin, even inviting Putin to the White House during a March phone call. Efforts to arrange the summit started to intensify in mid-June. Bolton said during yesterday’s press conference that both Trump and Putin shared a belief that their face-to-face meeting will improve relations between the two countries.
Bolton also insisted that Trump and Putin will discuss “a full range of issues” including arms control agreements, alleged Russian meddling and the possibility of Moscow re-joining the G-8.
The two sides have also agreed on a time and date for the summit – information that will likely be released on Thursday.