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In some ways, Russian Federation remains the pre-eminent threat to USA national security.

The U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis website says that the European Union had a trade in goods surplus with the U.S.in 2017 of US$151.4 billion - not million. "We all talk about it a little differently", he said, "but the president has talked about it in his own way". He also plans to meet with Russia's President Vladimir Putin. "President Trump has been clear that we will use every available tool to ensure free and fair trade benefits American workers", ambassador Robert Lighthizer said at the time.

But Hutchinson, and the US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, gave upbeat assessments of the upcoming meetings.

The gathering at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters in Brussels, days before Trump meets his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, is shaping up to be the most hard in years, analysts and officials told AFP. The SABC's Europe correspondent Jack Parrock reports.

While it is in no one's interest to stumble backward into a Cold War, the huge political disconnect between Trump's dislike of Nato's democratic leaders and his frequently expressed admiration for the authoritarian Putin is an enormous discontinuity for the alliance. The activists, representing an array of organizations that united under the motto 'Make peace great again, ' chanted and carried banners reading "Stop NATO - stop war", "Trump not welcome" and "NATO GAME OVER" as they peacefully paraded in the streets.

Trump has shown little regard for America's traditional bonds with the Old World, publicly upbraiding world leaders at NATO's new headquarters a year ago for not spending enough on defense and delivering searing indictments of Western trading partners last month at an global summit in Canada. "I'm really happy that we made it to the quarters for the first time in history", said Artyom Osadchy, a student.

Beyer said Trump's recent summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore had fuelled concerns that Trump would let Putin "put one over on him", in Helsinki.

Representatives of 17 civil society organizations were marching with the slogan "Make peace great again", mimicking Trump's campaign slogan in the 2016 US presidential election of "Making America great again". "He said that we should keep our eyes open and take the next steps". Which means his words and deeds during his European swing will drive policy - especially since aides have acknowledged Trump has few goals for the two summits. But he also raised eyebrows about his mindset for the one-on-one summit, which will not feature any aides, when he tweeted this last month: "Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!"


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