US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for their summit in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, July 16.

Trump’s week in pictures: NATO, the Queen and Putin

Photographs by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for their summit in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, July 16.

President Donald Trump started a weeklong trip to Europe by meeting with allies.

He ended it Monday by meeting with a longtime US adversary.

Trump traveled to Helsinki, Finland, for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and afterward Trump said he believed it had significantly improved relations between the two countries.

"Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed as of about four hours ago. I really believe that," Trump said during a joint news conference held at the end of the summit.

Earlier in his trip, Trump attended a NATO summit in Belgium before flying to Britain to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and have tea with Queen Elizabeth II.

Follow Trump’s journey here, as seen through the lens of Brendan Smialowski, a photographer who covers the White House for Agence France-Presse.

Monday, July 16

Trump’s meeting with Putin came just three days after indictments, handed down by special counsel Robert Mueller, charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking into Democrats’ computer networks and emails during the 2016 presidential race.

Putin said Trump brought up the issue on Monday, but Putin insisted that Russia “has never interfered" with American affairs.

Trump declined to endorse the US intelligence community's assessment that Russia interfered in the election, saying Putin was "extremely strong and powerful" in his denial. Trump said the two leaders also talked about issues such as North Korea, nuclear proliferation and radical Islamic terrorism.

"We should have, frankly, had this dialogue a long time ago,” he said. “I think that we're all to blame. I think that the United States has now stepped forward along with Russia.”

Trump and Putin attend a joint news conference at the end of their summit.

Trump and Putin sit across from each other as they attend a working lunch with members of their staff.

The two leaders shake hands before the start of their summit.

People wave American, Russian and Finnish flags while waiting for the presidential motorcades to pass.

Trump and his wife, Melania, meet with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and his wife, Jenni Haukio.

Trump sits across from Niinisto at breakfast.

Sunday, July 15

Trump spent the weekend at his Turnberry resort in Scotland, where he played golf and prepped for his Monday summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

There were no public events scheduled.

Security stands on the tarmac of Helsinki-Vantaa Airport on Sunday.

Air Force One lands in Helsinki.

Friday, July 13

Trump and his wife, Melania, ended their stay in England by having tea with Queen Elizabeth II. Their meeting at Windsor Castle lasted a little less than an hour.

Earlier Friday, Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May held talks at Chequers, May’s country residence. They complimented each other in front of the media and talked up the close relationship between their two countries.

When Trump was asked whether he regretted his recent interview in which he knocked May's "soft Brexit" compromise and boosted a rival within her own party, Trump shook his head and rolled his eyes. He later dismissed the interview as "fake news," saying it didn't include his comments praising May.

The Trumps board Air Force One before heading to Scotland for the weekend.

Queen Elizabeth escorts the Trumps into Windsor Castle. She has met every US President since 1952, with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson.

Honor guards wait at Windsor Castle before being inspected by Trump and the Queen.

Trump is accompanied by the Queen as he is welcomed at Windsor Castle.

The Queen waits at Windsor Castle for the arrival of the Trumps.

Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May are flanked by staff members at Chequers, May’s country residence northwest of London.

For May, the meeting with Trump came at a time when she is politically weakened following a string of resignations from her Cabinet.

A member of the Secret Service stands alongside an armored limousine as Trump and May meet at Chequers.

Thursday, July 12

A day after tweeting “what good is NATO,” Trump praised the alliance during an unscheduled news conference held at the end of a two-day summit in Brussels, Belgium.

"I believe in NATO, I think NATO is a very important — probably the greatest ever done," he said.

Trump declared that all NATO members had agreed to increase their defense spending after he told them he was “extremely unhappy.” French President Emmanuel Macron later rejected that assertion, saying the NATO summit communique merely reaffirmed a commitment to the alliance’s target for defense spending (2% of each country’s gross domestic product).

Trump flew into England later in the day and attended a black-tie dinner hosted by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The Trumps are joined by British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband, Philip, before the dinner at Blenheim Palace. They received a ceremonial welcome by the British Army.

Marine One carries the Trumps to Blenheim Palace for a black-tie dinner on Thursday night.

People wait for the Trumps to arrive at London’s Winfield House, which is where the US ambassador lives. The Trumps spent the night there.

Trump and the first lady are greeted by a Royal Air Force honor guard after landing in England on Thursday.

Trump casts a shadow at a news conference in Brussels on Thursday.

"I told people that I'd be very unhappy if they didn’t up their financial commitments substantially," Trump said when asked if he threatened to pull out of NATO.

Trump is joined at his news conference by national security adviser John Bolton, right.

Wednesday, July 11

Meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump resumed his criticism of allies he said are “not paying what they should” with regards to defense spending. Last month, Trump sent letters to NATO member countries and threatened to shift the US military presence in Europe if they don’t live up to the alliance’s target for defense spending.

During the breakfast meeting, Trump and Stoltenberg went back and forth over the importance of preserving the alliance. Trump singled out Germany in his remarks, telling Stoltenberg that “Germany is a captive of Russia” because it buys natural gas from Russia. Trump complained that the United States is expected to defend Germany despite "billions of dollars" in energy payments to Moscow.

Later in the day, Trump met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and touted the two countries’ “tremendous relationship.” He told the media that he and Merkel discussed his earlier comments, but he didn’t expand further.

Merkel didn’t address Trump's comments, simply saying she was "very pleased" to have an opportunity to discuss big issues like economic development, migration and trade with Trump.

NATO heads of state pose for a photo together.

Trump and other world leaders walk to an area so they can take photos together.

Trump is welcomed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as he arrives at the summit on Wednesday.

Stoltenberg, left, sits across from Trump at a breakfast meeting ahead of the summit. Sitting to Stoltenberg’s left are NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Alejandro Alvargonzalez and NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu. To Trump’s right are NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are reflected in a mirror as they attend the breakfast meeting with Stoltenberg and his staff.

Tuesday, July 10

Trump, accompanied by his staff and the first lady, traveled from Washington to Brussels on Tuesday.

It is the President’s seventh foreign trip since he took office.

The Trumps get into an armored vehicle after flying into Belgium on Tuesday.

Marine One carries the Trumps to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where Air Force One was waiting.

The Trumps board Air Force One together.

Brendan Smialowski is a photographer based in Washington. He covers the White House for Agence France-Presse. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Photo editors: Brett Roegiers and Kyle Almond