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Politico: Helsinki unlikely venue for Biden-Putin summit

The Finnish capital probably won't host the one-on-one summit, according to US news outlet Politico.

Melania Trump katsoo, kun Donald Trump ja Vladimir Putin kättelevät.
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shake hands at Helsinki's Presidential Palace in July 2018. Image: Alexey Nikolsky / Sputnik / Kreml / EPA

Finland's chances of hosting a meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin are looking slim owing to former US President Donald Trump's remarks when he met Putin in Helsinki in 2018, according to Politico.

"Trump lived up to his reputation as being too eager to please Putin when he appeared to accept Putin's denials that Russia had interfered in the 2016 US election," the US-based news site writes.

If a new Helsinki meeting between the United States and Russia were to go ahead, comparisons with Trump "would drive every narrative and overshadow the substance of what Biden and Putin hope to accomplish if they meet," according to Politico.

This week Biden said he hoped to meet with Putin in June when he will be travelling to the continent to attend G7 and Nato summits. The American president has suggested meeting in a third country to discuss topics including the situation in Ukraine and jailed Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Other possible venues for the tête-à-tête include Vienna and Reykjavik. Like Finland, Austria is not a member of Nato, possibly increasing its attractiveness as a venue to Russia. Iceland, though a member of the military alliance, has a long record of hosting top summits.

Prague, Ljubljana and Baku are other possible sites for the meeting, according to Politico.

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