21:49 GMT +318 December 2018
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    Trump: Ties With Russia Have Never Been Worse Due to Years of 'US Foolishness'

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    Just a few hours before the start of the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the US president harshly criticized Washington's policy toward Moscow and the "Russia probe" against him as damaging bilateral relations.

    US President Donald Trump slammed the actions of his predecessor, saying on his Twitter that Barack Obama didn't properly address reports of the alleged "Russian meddling" in the 2016 Presidential elections, adding that the issue was politically motivated from the very beginning.

    He also stated that the investigation of the alleged Russian interference was one of the reasons behind the worsening relations between Moscow and Washington over the last few years.

    Probe Into Alleged Election Meddling

    Last week the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 12 Russian citizens, who allegedly worked for the Russian intelligence service, with involvement in the 2016 presidential elections. They were accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign.

    READ MORE: ‘Hurry the F*ck Up': Strzok, Page Tried to Speed Trump Probe Before Election

    Addressing the statement, Trump told reporters that he may ask his Russian counterpart to extradite people indicted as part of the probe.

    The charges were presented just a few days before the long-awaited Putin-Trump Summit in Helsinki, which is set to start on Monday.

    Agenda of the Helsinki Summit

    Commenting on the upcoming meeting of the two leaders, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RT broadcaster that the event would allow to ease relations between Russia and the US.

    "This is what we really hope for — that this summit will allow us to make at least a small step away from the crisis, which our bilateral relations are currently facing," Peskov said.

    He also noted a strange course of of investigations being conducted in Washington into Russia's alleged involvement in US affairs.

    "Let's not forget that Donald Trump is a very popular president in the United States, and many people assess very positively the results of his work as the president. Everything that happens, all these investigations and so on — this is an internal affair of the United States. We are puzzled with many aspects of these investigations in the part that concerns us and our country, but let's leave it behind the brackets," Peskov said.

    The tete-a-tete talks between Trump and Putin in Helsinki will be held for three hours on Monday. The leaders to discuss bilateral ties and various issues on the international agenda. The summit will be their first full-fledged meeting since Trump took office in January 2017, as both Presidents previously met only on the sidelines of the international events.

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    Putin-Trump Summit, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Russia, United States
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