Photo of Donald Trump

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland

July 16, 2018

President Putin. Distinguished Mr. President, it's my pleasure to meet you and to meet you here, on hospitable Finnish soil, in Helsinki. We continue to stay in touch. We have phone conversations and physical meetings. We met on the sidelines—[inaudible]. And now it's time to talk in detail about our bilaterals, as well some of the important points worldwide—and there's a quite a number of these—for us to make note of and discuss them.

[At this point, President Putin spoke in English as follows.]

Thank you so much.

President Trump. Thank you. Thank you very much. Well, first of all, Mr. President, I'd like to congratulate you on a really great World Cup—one of the best ever, from what everybody tells me; one of the best ever—and also, for your team itself doing so well.

I watched quite a bit. In the United States, we call it soccer. And I watched quite a bit of it, and I watched the entire final and the semifinals, and they were really spectacular games. But it was beautifully done. So congratulations on that.

Most importantly, we have a lot of good things to talk about and things to talk about. We have discussions on everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear to China. We'll be talking a little bit about China, our mutual friend, President Xi.

I think we have great opportunities together as two countries that, frankly, we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years. I've been here not too long, but it's getting close to 2 years. But I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship—I hope so. I've been saying—and I'm sure you've heard over the years, and as I campaigned—that getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.

And I really think the world wants to see us get along. We are the two great nuclear powers. We have 90 percent of the nuclear, and that's not a good thing, it's a bad thing. And I think we, hopefully, can do something about that, because it's not a positive force, it's a negative force. So we'll be talking about that, among other things.

And with that, the world awaits. And I look forward to our personal discussion, which I think begins now, and then we're going to meet our whole team. You have quite a few representatives, and I do. And we all have a lot of questions, and hopefully, we'll come up with answers, most importantly.

It's great to be with you. Thank you very much. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:09 p.m. in the Gothic Hall at the Presidential Palace. President Putin spoke in Russian, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under





Simple Search of Our Archives