Trump will focus on Russia's 'malign' activity at summits

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov back to a camera listens to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby R-Ala. right during his meeting with U.S. congressional delegation in Moscow Russia Tuesday

Trump will focus on Russia's 'malign' activity at summits

President Donald Trump and his U.S. delegation intend to raise the issues of arms control, Ukraine, Syria and election meddling during their meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a senior administration told reporters Thursday.

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

President Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other Russian officials have, on many occasions, stated that Russia is interested in good relations with the United States, which are based on mutual respect, adding that all issue between Moscow and Washington should be settled behind the negotiation table.

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The official, speaking on a call with reporters, portrayed the Helsinki meeting - which comes just four days after North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - as one in a long line of outreach opportunities American presidents have undertaken: "In the end, I think it's fair to say since the end of the Cold War each president has tried a reset of the relationship, but it has led to a boom and bust cycle" that has left the relationship in worse shape each time.

At the same time, the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow John huntsman wrote on Twitter that trump will discuss with Putin the "harmful activities" of Russian Federation.

Mr. Putin is not expected to budge on key areas of conflict with the West, including the annexation of Crimea, support of separatist movements in eastern Ukraine and backing President Bashar Assad's regime in Syria.

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Mr. Huntsman said the president recognizes the challenge of dealing with Russian Federation, and that every president since the end of the Cold War has failed to improve the relationship.

"We're entering with our eyes wide open, but peace is always worth the effort", Huntsman said.

"They're going, "Will President Trump be prepared?" "You can't solve problems if you're not talking about them".

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Mr. Huntsman said the president believes an improved relationship with Russian Federation is in both countries' interest and in the interest of world peace.

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