HELSINKI – The president of the United States met on Monday with his Finnish counterpart for a breakfast meeting at the presidential residence in Mantyniemi, just three hours ahead of a key summit with the Russian president.
Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and other senior US officials, thanked Sauli Niinisto for his “hospitality” as host of the summit, and praised his role in the NATO.
“We had a fantastic meeting a few days ago, some of you were there, it was a very successful meeting. NATO has never been more together. People are now agreeing to pay. They’re paying more rapidly. And it’s probably never been stronger than it is today,” Trump said.
He described the NATO summit, held last week in Brussels, as “tough” at first but that “turned out to be love.”
When asked about his upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin he told a reporter, “We’ll be just fine, thank you.”
Shortly ahead of the breakfast meeting, Trump had tweeted saying that his country’s relationship with Russia “has never been worse,” due to allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.