Trump and Putin open historic summit, U.S. leader promises ‘extraordinary relationship’

EU is foe but China and Russia as well- Trump

The Russian government has blamed the United States for the dire state of relations between the two superpowers for years, accusing it of launching unilateral sanctions, trying to stir up unrest in Russia and its former Soviet satellites and, most recently, of inventing the election meddling story.

Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from Helsinki, said Trump failed to highlight the issues that seemed to be viewed as the most important in his country.

The summit, which was being closely monitored by rattled world capitals, was condemned in advance by members of Congress from both parties after the US indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump's presidential campaign.

Wearing a blue suit, white shirt and red tie, the USA president congratulated Putin on Russia's hosting of the World Cup, "one of the best ever, from what everybody tells me", adding that he had watched the semi-finals and final and it was "beautifully done". Mr Trump tweeted. "President Obama thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn't happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it".

Trump tweeted: "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of USA foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!", referring to the current investigation by the special counsel into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Donald Trump said: "And I really think the world wants to see us get along". Donald, who has quickly gained a reputation of arriving late to meetings, was left hanging ahead of his face-to-face with Putin in Finland. He told CBS News that he didn't "expect anything" from Putin, while his national security adviser said the US wasn't looking for any "concrete deliverables".

Trump said the summit would cover "everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear to China".

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Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, replied on Twitter using one of Trump's favorite stock phrases.

"Most importantly we have a lot of good things to talk about", he said.

Hundreds of people also marched through the streets of the Finnish capital, demonstrating against Trump and Putin's presence in the country.

Trump says he ran a "clean campaign" and he beat his Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton "easily".

It was the second time since the dozen Russian intelligence officers were indicted Friday that Trump described the Mueller probe as a "rigged witch hunt". "There won't be a Perry Mason here, I don't think".

Putin added that other issues that Russian Federation would like to discuss in the arms control sphere are the USA missile defence plans and the weaponization of space.

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