Donald Trump to press Vladimir Putin on election meddling, Ukraine aggression

US Senator Richard Shelby Republican of Alabama, and Senator Jerry Moran Republican of Kansas chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection Product Safety Insurance and Data Security spoke to the Associated Press at the US Embassy in M

Donald Trump to press Vladimir Putin on election meddling, Ukraine aggression

Trump and Putin will meet July 16 in Helsinki, Finland, for their first official summit.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, the USA representative to NATO, said the major theme of the NATO summit would be the trans-Atlantic alliance's "strength and unity", despite repeated criticisms by Trump of alliance members who have yet to meet a commitment to boost their defense spending.

Previously, Putin and Trump have had meetings on the margins of other global gatherings.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin talks to US President Donald Trump during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017.

Trump will embark on a trip to Europe next Tuesday, which will include attending the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels and a stop in the United Kingdom before arriving in Finland.

A Senate Intelligence Committee report released on Tuesday supported the conclusion of three US intelligence agencies that Russian Federation tried to help Donald Trump win the 2016 USA presidential election.

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Huntsman said the president will bring up an array of malign activity in which Russian Federation has been engaged, including meddling in the 2016 presidential election. One official who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity said "we're entering with our eyes wide open" but "the ball really is in Russia's court" when it comes to changing their behavior.

Trump has expressed scorn for the alliance and is expected to upbraid European NATO members for not spending enough on their own defense.

Also in the teleconference, Kay Bailey Hutchison, the US envoy to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said Russian Federation would be a key topic at the NATO summit in Belgium next week.

Earlier this week, Trump said that he was planning to "talk to him [Putin] about everything", mentioning such issues as Syria, Ukraine and claims of Russian meddling in the USA election in 2016.

"The President has determined that now is the time for direct communication between himself and President Putin and that it is in the interest of the United States. and that's the way he's proceeding", the official said.

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