helsinki - The leaders of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, met in the Finnish capital Helsinki. It is their first official Russian-American summit, although the men have met each other before. The presidents arrived in the presidential palace in the Finnish capital and sat almost next to each other. They did not shake hands with each other for the cameras.
Trump voiced strong criticism of his predecessors in the run-up to the meeting. 'Our relationship with Russia has never been worse by years of American folly and stupidity,' he wrote on Twitter. He was supported by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which responded with approval to his own Twitter account.
The Kremlin hopes that the meeting can be the 'first step' in the process of patching up the relationship between the countries. Russia and the West are among others in the clinch about the annexation of the Crimea, the poisoning of a Russian former spy in Britain and the accusation that Russia has tried to influence the US presidential election.
'The presidents Trump and Putin respect each other and can do well with each other', said the spokesman for the Kremlin. 'There is no clear agenda. That is what the Heads of State determine. '
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