President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are ready to go one-on-one in Finland. Their summit Monday in Helsinki will play out against a backdrop of fraying Western alliances, the investigation into Russian election meddling and fears that Moscow’s aggression may go unpunished.
The meeting was condemned in advance by an assortment of members of Congress from both parties after the US indictment last week of 12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump.
Undeterred, the American president is set to go face-to-face with Putin, the authoritarian leader for whom he has expressed admiration.
Questions are swirling about whether Trump will sharply rebuke his Russian counterpart for the election meddling that prompted a special counsel probe.