The first full-fledged bilateral summit of US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will take place in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Before that, they met on the margins of the G20 summit in Germany on July 7, 2017.
After the expected announcement that Russian President Vladimir Putin won the presidential election in Russia on March 18, 2018, on March 20 he received a call from US President Donald Trump to congratulate on the “victory.” After that, Trum told the media that he had a “very good talk” with Putin and he wants to meet with him “in the near future to discuss an arms race that is getting out of control,” as well as Ukraine, Syria and the DPRK.
In early June, The Wall Street Journal quoted a European official as saying that Putin had asked Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz to organize a summit with US President Donald Trump in Vienna. The fact that Vienna declared its readiness to organize a meeting between the presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States was also confirmed in the White House. The publication noted that Putin does not want to hold this summit in Washington and “would prefer a neutral place.” The fact that Putin spoke with Kurtz about the possibility of his meeting with Trump in Vienna was confirmed in the Kremlin.
However, on June 26, Reuters reported with reference to an informed source that the most likely venue for the meeting between Putin and Trump is the capital of Finland Helsinki. According to the representative of the US administration, who spoke with the agency on condition of anonymity, the final decision depended on the results of negotiations of the US national security adviser John Bolton in Moscow.
June 27 Trump confirmed that the meeting could take place in Helsinki and called the approximate time – after the NATO summit scheduled for July 11-12. Finnish President Sauli Niiniste said that his country is ready to offer its services to host meetings of the presidents of Russia and the United States on its territory.
On the same day, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that Moscow and Washington had agreed the time and place of the meeting and that the summit would be held in a third country. In turn, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said that Moscow and Washington will announce the time and place of the meeting simultaneously on June 28. On this day it was confirmed that the meeting will be held in Helsinki, and its date was also announced on July 16.
Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the capital of Finland was chosen as a venue because of the convenient location of the city for both sides and assured that preparations for the summit were already underway.
First, the Finnish media wrote that the meeting would take place at the Villa Königstedt on the banks of the Vantaa River, but later information appeared that the meeting would take place directly in the capital of Finland. According to the media, the villa is too small, in addition, the Finnish authorities and the City Hall of Helsinki want to use the summit to advertise the city.