HELSINKI (AP) — The summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be held at one of the Finnish president’s official residences in Helsinki, a palace that overlooks the Baltic Sea where the presidents’ predecessors have met, officials in Finland said Friday.
The office of Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said Trump and Putin would meet on Monday 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. The Helsinki summit will be their first official stand-alone meeting.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump are scheduled to start the day joining Niinisto and his spouse, 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. Presidents Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin held talks on arms control and NATO expansion.
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 in June 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 are set to meet at the Presidential Palace on Monday.