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Fox News: Trump and Putin to meet at Helsinki summit

The US and Russian leaders will meet in Helsinki, according to Russian news agency TASS and US outlet Fox News.

Vladimir Putin ja Donald Trump.
File photo of US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam last year. Image: Jorge Silva / EPA

US and Russian media outlets reported Thursday that a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will take place in Helsinki.

The exact date of the summit was not yet clear, however, but Fox News reporter John Roberts tweeted the date would be confirmed later on Thursday.

Moscow and Washington agreed to arrange a summit between the two leaders as Putin met with US National Security Adviser John Bolton at the Kremlin on Wednesday.

Trump initially suggested Finland's capital as the venue while Russian officials said they preferred the meeting be held in Vienna, Austria.

Also before Thursday's reports of the summit, Reuters reported the meeting would likely take place after the top-level NATO summit in Brussels on 11-12 July.

Finland's Council of State announced on Wednesday that Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is headed to the Nato summit.

Summit agenda

Earlier this week Trump said he and Putin would discuss the situations in Syria and Ukraine, among other topics.

According to Reuters, Trump's list of discussion topics did not include the issue of new allegations of Russian interference in upcoming US elections.

Putin and Trump last met during an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam in last November, after which Trump said he took Putin at his word that Russia did not interfere in the US presidential elections in 2016, Reuters reports.

Details unclear

Details have yet to emerge on the summit venue. A veteran diplomat who requested to remain anonymous told Svenska Yle that Helsinki is an ideal location for the meeting - logistically and in terms of security.

The diplomat said there are two likely locations in Helsinki for the meeting. The first is the Hilton Kalastajatorppa hotel in Helsinki's Munkkiniemi neighbourhood, a secluded seaside location where many high-level international diplomatic meetings have been held.

The second alternative, according to the diplomat, is the Presidential Palace, located by the city's bustling South Harbour and Market Square.

Helsinki has hosted many high-level meetings of world leaders in the past; perhaps most famously in 1975 when the city was the backdrop for the Helsinki Accords, which was a large-scale effort to reduce tensions between Western countries and the Soviet Union.

The Helsinki Accords helped pave the way to the end of the Cold War.

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