HELSINKI — Before President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet on Monday for their first official dialogue, a U.S. intelligence assessment has outlined for the U.S. president the areas where Moscow and Washington have competing interests, and where they could potentially find middle ground.
The intelligence report, according to sources who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity, said the Russian leader may ask Trump to stay out of the conflict in Ukraine, to withdraw troops from eastern Syria, and to continue talks with North Korea.
Monday's highly anticipated meeting takes place in the wake of a contentious NATO summit, and only days after the U.S. Justice Department charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democrats in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That indictment includes the most detailed U.S. accusations yet that Moscow meddled in the election in favor of Trump.
What's more, Trump has insisted the two leaders meet at the beginning of the summit without any aides present — stirring concerns that the former KGB officer will outflank his American counterpart.