‘The ball is in Russia’s court’: Pompeo on Moscow-Washington relations

Cheryl Sanders
July 18, 2018

The president also told CBS News in an interview that he "hadn't thought" about asking Putin to extradite the dozen Russian military intelligence officers indicted this past week in Washington on charges related to the hacking of Democratic targets in the 2016 USA election.

Bolton also says he finds it "hard to believe" that the Russian intelligence officials could conduct such an operation without Putin's knowledge. And he expressed concerns over Trump withdrawing the United States from the Iran nuclear pact.

US President Donald Trump will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Asked whether Mrs May had urged Mr Trump to raise the Salisbury attack with Mr Putin, the PM's spokesman said: "The US position has been set out very clearly by the president with relation to the Skripals".

The summit will be their first full-fledged meeting since Trump took office in January 2017, as both Presidents previously met only on the sidelines of the worldwide events. Last week, Trump predicted a short private meeting, saying his business experience taught him the longer talks stretch, the worse they are going.

The summit was condemned in advance by members of congress from both parties after the USA indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump's presidential campaign. "That's not a good thing, that's a bad thing", Trump said at the brief media session.

The two heads of state will talk about "everything from trade to military, from missiles to China".

Ahead of their meeting at Finland's Presidential Palace, both leaders made brief opening remarks to reporters.

The summit is expected to start later than scheduled after Mr Putin arrived in Helsinki about a half hour late in another display of the Russian president's famous lack of punctuality.

"I've been saying, and I'm sure you've heard over the years.that getting along with Russian Federation is a good thing not a bad thing", Trump said, seated next to Putin at the start of talks in an ornate presidential palace in neutral Finland.

"Somebody said are you friends or enemies? We spend on defence much more than Russian Federation and as much as China", Tusk said.

Trump also said he's confident Washington and Moscow can improve relations and said a friendly and productive relationship is "a good thing".

"We have a lot of good things to talk about".

Donald Trump said: "And I really think the world wants to see us get along. But I could name others, also".

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Trump had missed an opportunity to firmly hold Russian Federation accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a warning about any efforts to interfere in future US elections. Earlier Monday, however, he deflected blame for that even though his administration has sanctions Russian entities - including intelligence agencies and individuals with ties to Putin - for the tensions.

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