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The US President Donald Trump is a negotiation counterpart for the Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin told TASS.

Dmitry Peskov’s remark came in response to comment on the US President Donald Trump’s statement that Putin is his rival.

“[Putin sees Trump as] the President of the United States, a counterpart in the negotiations scheduled for Monday,” the Kremlin spokesman said adding: “A joint communique is not a necessary attribute of such meetings. The statements will be made by the two presidents right after the summit.”

Earlier, Donald Trump told reporters that he expected Vladimir Putin to become his friend. 

“Hopefully, someday, he'll be a friend. It could happen,” the US leader noted.

The U.S President Donald Trump will meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16.

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