(From The Guardian)
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will hold their first official summit in Helsinki on 16 July, the Kremlin and the White House have announced, scheduling an encounter that is certain to generate fresh controversy for the White House.
The optics of the meeting are likely to be as important to the leaders as its results. Moscow is keen to show it is not isolated on the world stage, while Trump has ignored criticism at home to plot a course towards closer relations with Putin.
Arms control and other security issues are likely to be among the main topics of discussion, although both sides have already played down the potential for the meeting to deliver concrete results.
The format reflects Trump’s recent preference for high-profile summits, such as the one he held in Singapore this month with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.
“I think a lot of good things can come from meetings with people,” Trump said in Washington DC on Wednesday. “Maybe something positive will come out of it.”