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Putin-Trump summit set for July 16 in Helsinki


President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is likely to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo within the next two weeks as part of efforts to set the stage for the summit, according to Lavrov's deputy, Sergei Ryabkov.

July's meeting will be the first full-fledged, bilateral summit between the US and Russia since former President Barack Obama met then- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2013.

Trump tweeted this morning that "Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!" "You can only ask so many times". Both men have pursued the tete-a-tete in hopes of soothing tensions over Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election and its aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere, despite retaliatory actions taken by both governments this year.

Putin aide Yuri Ushakov told journalists, after Bolton and Putin met at the Kremlin, that the summit will take place in mid-July, when Trump is scheduled to visit Belgium and Britain.

The meeting will take place a day after the football World Cup final in Moscow, and a few days after the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels on 11-12 July, which both Trump and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö are to attend. "President Trump is the one who will be sitting down face-to-face with Vladimir Putin one month from now".

Late a year ago, the US president said he believed Putin's in-person denial of Russian involvement when the pair met.

Trump has wavered in his approach to dealing with Putin, praising the leader in some moments while applying pressure on him in the form of sanctions at other times. It will also garner scrutiny in light of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's ongoing investigation into Russia's election interference and possible collusion between Putin's government and Trump's campaign. A special counsel is investigating possible collusion by the Trump campaign with Russian Federation, which Trump has denied.