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Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump to discuss ‘complex’ issues, including Syria

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will meet in the Finnish capital Helsinki on July 16.

SNS | New Delhi |

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump are set to discuss a number of “very complex” issues, including the situation in Syria, the Kremlin said on Friday.

“A rather detailed discussion on Syria is anticipated,” Xinhua quoted Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as saying.

He said “serious preparations” are being made for the summit slated for July 16 in Helsinki.

Peskov said Moscow is ready to follow the path of normalising Russia-U.S. relations to the extent Washington is ready to do.

On Thursday, the CNN quoted unnamed sources as saying that Trump believes he can strike a deal with Putin on a so-called exclusion zone in southwest Syria that will allow the United States to “get out ASAP”.

Peskov said Moscow is unaware of Trump’s plans.

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will meet in the Finnish capital Helsinki on July 16.

In a statement issue earlier this week, Kremlin had said,  “(The) two leaders will discuss the current state and prospects of further development of the Russian-US relations and also vital issues of the international agenda.”

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov had told reporters that the venue of the summit was convenient for both sides.

The summit will take place four days after a NATO summit on July 11 and 12 in Brussels, Belgium, where Trump will meet leaders of US military allies. Trump plans to visit London to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May on July 13.

The two leaders “will meet on July 16, 2018, in Helsinki, Finland,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had said adding that “the two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues.”

Putin and Trump held their first talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany’s Hamburg in July 2017. They had another opportunity to hold negotiations during the APEC summit in Vietnam in November 2017 but no full-fledged meeting took place.

The summit will include one-on-one talks between the presidents and conclude with a joint news conference.

The summit with Putin comes amid FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election. Trump has been critical of the probe, denying any collusion and arguing that the Democrats should be investigated instead.

(With inputs from agencies)