Meeting With Putin: "A Good Start," Says Trump

Meeting With Putin: "A Good Start," Says Trump

US President Donald Trump says his face-to-face meeting in Helsinki with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin was "a good start."

After two hours of closed-door talks the two leaders went into a working lunch with their senior advisers, reports the BBC.

Earrlier, Putin said it was time to discuss "difficult multi-national issues."

Relations between Russia and the West were severely strained by Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Russia is also accused of meddling in the 2016 US election, a claim it strongly denies. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US election. Monday's meeting comes days after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking Democrats' emails.

Before Monday's much-anticipated summit, Trump said he hoped for an "extraordinary relationship" and blamed US-Russia tensions on previous administrations.

According to a CNN update, Presidents Trump and Putin are having a one-on-one meeting. Only their interpreters are present.

The leaders will be hoping to reverse the steep decline in relations between the two countries in recent years. There are a number of critical issues – including Crimea, the war in Syria, North Korea, and fraying arms control agreements.

Image credit: CNN