Xi, Putin meet as USA tensions brings them closer

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The Austrian government has offered to host a summit between Trump and Putin, potentially echoing a historic Cold War meeting there between a newly-elected President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, according to a White House official who was granted anonymity to discuss the matter.

His supporters said the father of two was prepared to die in prison, clouding Russia's chance to shine on the world stage during the World Cup which begins on Thursday.

This year's G7 summit comes at a time, when leaders of seven major economies view the current global order as a historic division between Washington and its major allies in North America, Europe and Asia.

Trump also fumed about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as their differences on trade and tariffs have been publicly revealed.

The summit is also the first time the leaders have gathered since the United States withdrew from the Obama era Iran Nuclear agreement, angering Europe.

But a spokesman for the host of this year's summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said Canada remains opposed to re-admitting Russian Federation.

Russian Federation was suspended from group in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Under Trump, the United States has abandoned its traditional role in the G-7 as an advocate for freer global trade, instead pushing more protectionist policies.

On the eve of the summit, Trump lashed out on Twitter at Macron and Trudeau, who earlier Friday criticized Trump's trade stance a joint news conference in Ottawa.

"There is no doubt that foreign interference in our democratic institutions and processes, and other forms of hostile activity, pose a strategic threat to our shared values and interests", British Prime Minister Theresa May said at the G7 Summit on Saturday.


The new tariffs - 25 per cent on imported steel, 10 per cent on aluminium from Canada, Mexico and the European Union - threaten to drive up prices for American consumers and companies and heighten uncertainty for businesses and investors around the globe.

Some foreign policy experts said Mr. Trump had a point about bringing Russian Federation back to the table with the Group of 7.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that Trump was turning US foreign policy "into an worldwide joke".

"The (prime minister) has always said we should engage with Russian Federation but beware", the source told Reuters.

Sebastian Mallaby, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, described the relationships between the USA and the rest of the G7 as at a "new level of crisis", saying that it was not just about trade but "a general USA attitude toward the system".

European and Asian stocks indices were down across the board Friday - despite a week of gains in the wake of robust U.S. jobs data and easing political headwinds in Italy and Spain. "That is not good for us nor for any of our friends in the world", Macron tweeted.

Trump has periodically called for closer ties with Russian Federation, although his administration's policy has included strong sanctions against Moscow.

"This medal of friendship represents the Chinese people's lofty respect for President Putin, and symbolises the profound friendship between China and Russia", Xi said.

Prior to leaving Washington, Trump appeared unenthusiastic about the summit, complaining to aides about having to attend, particularly with his Singapore sit-down with Kim right around the corner.

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