Putin kept Trump waiting a full hour before the summit.
"It went well", he said.
He had said earlier that previous U.S. administrations - and not Moscow - were to blame for a steep decline in U.S. -Russia relations in recent years.
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in the Finnish capital Monday for a historic summit with United States leader Donald Trump. "It means that they are competitive". So the president quickly said, this is not my problem, I'm not the one being being attacked here, and there's no collusion here. "I don't see any reason why it would be".
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have shaken hands and exchanged plesantries in Helsinki before beginning a private meeting which Trump said would cover "everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear to China".
The fresh indictments prompted a number of US senators, all but one Democrats, to request Trump cancel his summit with Putin. "We all know what Washington thinks of Iran".
"We also discussed at length the crisis in Syria. And that first step has not been taken until tomorrow", he said. The March 20 call came after Putin was re-elected, and was the same call in which Trump was given briefing materials instructing him not to congratulate Putin. "It's better to talk than to be quiet", he said, adding that he nonetheless does not expect any major breakthroughs on concrete issues.
Pressed on describing the E.U.as a USA foe, Trump said "I love those countries" but "in a trade sense, they've really taken advantage of us and many of those countries are in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and they weren't paying their bills".
He said Mrs May had made clear in a speech at Blenheim Palace on Thursday that she welcomed the Trump-Putin meeting, stating that "open channels of communication between the U.S. and Russian Federation are a key to managing the risks of confrontation".
Speaking in front of media before the closed-door summit Trump said that getting along with Russian Federation would be a "good thing, not a bad thing". "We, hopefully, can do something about that because it's not a positive force, it's a negative force".
We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting everybody and yet we're paying a lot of money to protect.
Trump's motorcade arrived just before 7 a.m. EDT at the beige neoclassical palace on the Esplanadi near Market Square in the Finnish capital.