Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and US President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. / AFP / Brendan SMIALOWSKI
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The United Nations may have ranked Finland the happiest country in the world, but the Helsinki summit failed to make U.S. President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin smile.Perhaps fearing that Trump's eagerness to forge a bond with Putin would be mistaken for cheerful naivety, U.S. officials played along with the serious mood.Securing the summit represented the biggest operation for Finland's small police force since Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin came to Helsinki in 1997 .The warm welcome also extended to facilities for the press – more than 2,000 of whom were accredited to cover the one-day summit.All in all, it was an impressive operation – especially as Finland had been given only 10 days to revive its role as a host of crucial security summits.Finland was chosen for its nonaligned status, even if it maintains a distrust of Russia and leans West – President Sauli Niniisto attended last week's NATO summit.
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