Helsinki, Finland | July 14
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will meet Monday at Finnish presidential palace in Helsinki that overlooks the Baltic Sea, the same venue where two of their predecessors met in 1990.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto’s office said the American and Russian leaders will hold their summit at the 19th-century Presidential Palace, located a stone’s throw away from the capital’s iconic waterfront Market Square.
Putin and Trump have met twice before on the sidelines of international meetings but the Helsinki summit will be their first official stand-alone meeting. U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev held talks at the same venue in 1990. To kick off the day, Trump and his wife, Melania, will join Niinisto and his wife, Jenni Haukio, for breakfast at Mantyniemi, another presidential residence in Helsinki where the couple lives most of the time. Niinisto also will hold a bilateral meeting with Putin.
Finland, a Nordic nation of 5.5 million, has a long legacy of hosting U.S.-Soviet and U.S. Russian summits due to its geographic location and perceived neutrality.
The last time a summit brought presidential entourages from Moscow and Washington to Helsinki was in March 1997, when U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin held talks on arms control and NATO expansion.
In June, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Gen.
Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, in a manor house owned by the Finnish state to exchange views on U.S.- Russia military relations, Syria and international security.
Along with the presidents, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet at the Presidential Palace on Monday.
Sari Autio-Sarasmo of the University of Helsinki’s said the Finnish capital and Vienna, were important conduits between the East and the West during the Cold War.