Russia is "a big country, it's a nuclear country and I think we will get along with them eventually," Trump said. "I think it's a good thing if we have great relationships or at least good relationships with Russia… and I believe someday that will happen."
When asked if the United States considered Russia a security threat, Trump replied that "I consider many countries a security threat."
Trump side-stepped a question about what he would do if Finland and Russia's dispute over the Baltic Sea deteriorated to the point of crisis. "We are very protective of that region," Trump responded. "That's all I can say. We are very, very protective. We have great friends there."
Niinisto said that Finland highly valued dialogue between Russia and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Niinisto added that dialogue was key to avoid military tension in the Baltic Sea.
"We have to be very careful that this huge training, this huge military traffic in the Baltic doesn't cause any accidental problems," Niinisto told reporters at the joint press conference. "That is why I think it's important that we continue to work with NATO to enhance… dialogue between Russia and NATO."
The United States is currently sanctioning Russia under allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 US Presidential Election. In December 2016, former US President Barack Obama ejected 35 Russian diplomatic personnel from the country. A round of economic sanctions against the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Germany to Russia passed into law in early August of this year.
With occasional periods of warming, the US/Russia relationship has nonetheless been steadily declining for a decade or longer. Trump's predecessors in the White House also pledged to repair the relationship with Russia, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton infamously pressing the "reset button" in a 2009 meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.