This picture taken on July 6, 2017, shows traditional Russian wooden nesting dolls, called Matryoshka dolls, depicting US President Donald Trump (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) at a gift shop in central Moscow. AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV
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President Donald Trump will become the fourth American leader that Russian President Vladimir Putin has faced since taking the helm in 2000 when they meet on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit Friday.EARLY HOPESWhen Putin was first elected in March 2000, U.S.-Russia ties were bitterly strained over the U.S.-led NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 . Putin quickly sought to establish warm ties with Clinton and other Western leaders. Even though Putin continued to call the shots as prime minister, Obama focused on building warm ties with Putin's ally, President Dmitry Medvedev.TRUMP AND RUSSIA The Kremlin has rejoiced over Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election after his campaign promises to improve ties with Russia.Putin has denied meddling in the U.S. vote and criticized the Democrats for failing to acknowledge the mistakes he says helped Trump win.
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