Putin says ready to meet with Trump at Arctic summit in Finland
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is ready to meet with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the Arctic summit in Finland.
"Finland, in my view, is a very convenient country, and Helsinki is a very suitable platform for organizing such events," Putin told the international Arctic forum in Russia’s Arkhangelsk, answering a question if he could meet with Trump at the summit.
The Russian leader stressed that such events should be very well-prepared "by both sides."
"If this happens, we will be glad to participate and I will be glad to take part in this event," he said. "If not, I think such a meeting (with the US president) may be held as part of ordinary meetings of this kind at the G20 (in Germany in July)," he said.
Putin called Finland a very good neighbor of Russia "which has a very good experience in organizing landmark events of this kind." The president recalled that the Helsinki Final Act was signed at a conference in Finland in 1975. The document, also known as the Helsinki Accords, was agreed in an effort to improve relations between the Communist bloc and the West.
Speaking at the forum in Arkhangelsk, Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto suggested convening the Arctic summit to discuss issues of the region. Answering a question on the possibility of a meeting between the Russian and US presidents on the sidelines of the event, Niinisto said Finland "would be very glad to hold such a summit." "But for holding the summit, there is the need to have something to say," he added.
The Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental forum set up in 1996, consists of Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States.