U.S. President Donald Trump (right, middle) and the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö (left, middle) talking at the Mäntyniemi Residence in Helsinki, on Monday, July 16, 2018.Picture: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

“We wish all the success in your meetings,” said the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the breakfast table at the president’s official residence Mäntyniemi at 09:50 on Monday morning.

The US President Donald Trump, sitting opposite Niinistö, thanked him.

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“I enjoyed being with you a couple of days ago. We very much respect Finland. We very highly respect your country, and I enjoyed being with you a couple of days ago,” Trump said.

Trump was referring to the NATO summit in Brussels, that was held on July 11-12, and where President Niinistö attended a working dinner for heads of state and government.

“I think NATO has never been stronger. It was a little bit tough at the beginning but it turned out to be love. It really was a great meeting that we had and brought everybody together. I think very worthwhile. I appreciated your support and your help I will say again, you treated us beautifully. Thank you very much,” said Trump.

The US President Donald Trump (3rd right) and The First Lady Melania Trump (2nd left) with the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö (right) and his spouse, Jenni Haukio, on the balcony of the Mäntyniemi Residence in Helsinki. Picture: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

President Trump was asked about what he expects of the meeting with President Putin.

“I’ll be seeing him in a little while,” Trump said smiling.

What are you going to say to him?

“We’ll do just fine, thank you,” Trump said.

President Trump is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at the Presidential Palace in the afternoon at 13:00.

President Trump was asked why Finland was chosen as the meeting point between him and Putin.

“I think Finland is a great country, we had a fantastic meeting few days ago, it was a very successful meeting, I think NATO has never been more together. People are now agreeing to pay,” Trump said and continued, “we had a lot of problems of people not paying as [your] president will tell you. They are paying and they are paying more rapidly and I think NATO has probably never been stronger than it is today. We had a fantastic meeting, and now we are capping it with being in Finland and the hospitality has been fantastic.”

Mrs Jenni Haukio and Mrs Melania Trump will also have breakfast together. According to the White House, this is Melania’s only official task for today, from her own wish. Picture: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva