Finally, the first summit meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump is taking place. The meeting appears to be part of Trump's drive to break from the shackles of the past years and chart a fresh course. The meeting - four days after the Trump meeting with the NATO leaders - has already led to much concern in West European capitals. Both the Kremlin and White House have confirmed that the two leaders will meet at Helsinki on 16 July. The New York Times has reported that the stage is set for this high-profile meeting and will be an attempt to soothe tensions between the USA and Russia.

Russian connection

With the Russian connection allegations having been milked for whatever it was worth.

Trump has now charted his own path and a meeting with the Russian president was always on the cards. It is worth recollecting that Trump had, during the election campaign, praised Putin but after he came to power allegations of a Russian hand swept the USA. The two leaders have met before and the last time was during the sidelines of the economic summit in Vietnam. John Bolton, who was in Moscow to prepare the ground for the meeting, pointedly mentioned that he would like anybody to say that meeting the Russian president is a bad idea.

High-level encounter

The high-level encounter is not to the liking of the US allies in Western Europe. The Stars and Stripes have reported that this summit has stirred anxieties in Europe. The UK and other NATO powers are worried that Trump may go ahead and give legitimacy to the Russian annexation of the Crimea.

Trump had already broken with the ranks at the G-7 summit in Canada when he called for Russia to be reinstated into the G-7 group.

Trump

Trump does not follow the beaten track and tries his best to think of out-of-the-box solutions to complex problems. His recent meeting with Kim Jong-un, [VIDEO] the North Korean leader, (and the first ever by an American president) can be considered some sort of proof that Trump has some fresh ideas and it is not a bad idea to consider them. Many people consider the Trump-Kim meeting a publicity stunt but that's being a being a little unfair to him.

The meeting will be a watershed in world politics. The European powers look jaded as they cling to the coat tails of the USA for being relevant in world politics. Trump has already castigated the NATO powers on military spending and at one stage during the election campaign had referred to NATO as "obsolete". He has revised his opinion since then but the recent clash during the G-7 summit in Canada followed by this meeting with Putin is not something the NATO powers can wish away.

Global security issues

The Trump-Putin meeting will focus on global security issues in Syria, [VIDEO] Korea, Iran and Europe. Trump has already set the ball rolling by stating that Russia is doing “a fantastic job with the World Cup.” He made this remark to journalists during the recent visit to the USA of the president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.