On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin arrived at the Finnish presidential palace for a highly anticipated summit.
Both leaders met briefly for a press photo op and spoke with the press prior to starting the meeting. “I think we have great opportunities as two countries that, frankly, we have not been getting along too well,” Trump stated.
“I think the world really wants to see us get along. We are the two great nuclear powers,” the U.S. president added. “We have 90 percent of the nuclear, and that’s not a good thing, it’s a bad thing.”
Trump also took time out to congratulated Putin on hosting a successful World Cup tournament. Earlier Monday, Trump, accompanied by U.S. first lady Melania, were greeted by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and first lady Jenni Haukio.
Trump and Putin are also scheduled to hold a working lunch late Monday. The two leaders are conducting the summit in Finland's capital Helsinki.
Ahead of the summit, the Russian foreign ministry “liked” Trump’s Twitter comments, in which the U.S. president denounced the investigation into Russian meddling in American elections as well as previous U.S. policy.
“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” Trump, said after blaming Washington’s for the poor relations between the two nations.
The Kremlin said it hoped the summit would be a “first step” towards repairing ties between the two states.
“Presidents Trump and Putin respect each other and they get along well,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “There is no clear agenda. It will be determined by the heads of state themselves as they go along.”