“President Donald J. Trump and President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation will meet on July 16, 2018, in Helsinki, Finland,” the White House announced in a statement.
The leaders are expected to discuss national security issues, as well as the issue of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, which, of course, helped usher Trump to power. Perhaps they will also discuss deals they found on Amazon, as July 16 is not only the day of the summit, but the rumored start of this year’s Amazon Prime Day.
While Trump is no fan of Amazon, this is most likely a coincidence.
National Security Adviser John Bolton said that he doesn’t “think it’s unusual” for the two leaders to meet, even as evidence mounts that the Trump campaign met with Russian officials leading up to the 2016 presidential election. On Thursday Trump tweeted that Russia continues to pinky-swear that it did not meddle in the U.S. election. Meanwhile, the Mueller investigation continues.
This will be Trump’s third official meeting with Putin. They met previously at the G20 in Hamburg in July 2017 and at the APEC Summit in Da Nang, in November 2017.
Helsinki has a long history as a location of choice for political summits, and not just because the food and coffee scene is great. The Finnish capital was where President Gerald Ford met with Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev in 1975, President George H.W. Bush met with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990, and the site of President Bill Clinton’s summit with President Boris Yeltsin in 1997.