BRUSSELS: United States President Donald Trump said on Thursday (Jul 12) a meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin next week may be the easiest on his Europe trip, saying Moscow was a competitor and not an enemy.
Asked if Putin presented a threat, Trump said, "I don't want him to be and that is why we have NATO," following a summit of the military alliance in Brussels.
"He is a competitor," Trump told reporters. "Is he my enemy? He is not my enemy ... Hopefully someday maybe he will be a friend. I just don't know him very well."
Trump said he would raise issues of arms control, extending new start treaty, and Russia violations of INF treaty in Putin talks.
"We go into that meeting not looking for so much. We want to find out about Syria. We will be talking about meddling ... We will be talking about Ukraine."