President Trump will hold one-on-one talks with Mr. Putin at an exceptionally awkward time, just days after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence agents on charges of hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but Mr. Trump put blame for tensions between the countries on the United States, not Russia.
The meeting will cap a weeklong trip to Europe in which Mr. Trump made his distaste for diplomatic norms abundantly clear: He caused turmoil at the NATO summit meeting and during a visit to Britain by demanding that allies spend more on defense, saying that Prime Minister Theresa May was mishandling Brexit, advising her to sue the European Union over the issue and calling the bloc a “trade foe.”
The meeting will be closely scrutinized for signs of whether Mr. Trump is friendlier to his Russian counterpart than he was to the NATO leaders or to Mrs. May.
Mr. Putin proposed the meeting in March during a phone call with Mr. Trump, and American officials say the Russian leader desperately needs Washington to ease sanctions that have squeezed his country’s economy and oligarchs.
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