Washington (AP) — President Joe Biden and Russian Vladimir Putin have agreed to meet next month in Geneva on Tuesday. Democratic regime.
The June 16 Summit is working towards the end of Biden’s first international trip as President. He will also visit the United Kingdom for a meeting of a group of seven global leaders and attend the NATO summit in Brussels.
The agenda is expected to include Russia’s actions in neighboring Ukraine, a forced detour of the flight to Lithuania by Russia’s ally Belarus this week, and efforts by both countries to stop the coronavirus pandemic. White House spokesman Jen Psaki said no prerequisites for the meeting were set.
The White House has low expectations for the conference. Not to mention the reset of US-Russian relations pursued by Biden’s former boss Barack Obama and the curious jackpot of Donald Trump’s Putin relationship, it is not expected to lead to a major breakthrough.
Instead, Biden warned that officials expected the relationship to remain complex as a candidate and early in the presidency, trying to find something in common with the enemy on the road. Say there is.
The Kremlin said the president “discusses the current state and prospects of Russia-US relations, strategic stability issues, serious issues on the international agenda, including dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and resolving regional conflicts.” It was. “
Biden First Proposed a summit at a meeting with Putin in April His administration was preparing to impose a second sanction on Russian authorities during his youthful presidential days.And the United States Imposed more sanctions than last week US officials say the pipeline threatens Europe’s energy security, increases Russia’s influence and poses risks to Ukraine and Poland by bypassing both countries.
The White House has repeatedly stated that it is seeking a “stable and predictable” relationship with Russia. At the same time, Russia interfered with last year’s US presidential election and called on Putin on the allegations that the Kremlin was behind. SolarWinds A hacking campaign that allows Russian hackers to infect widely used software with malicious code and gain access to the network of at least nine US institutions.
The Biden administration has also criticized Russia’s arrest and imprisonment Opposition leader Alexei Navalny And the Russian agent Attack the U.S. military by providing a bounty to the Taliban In Afghanistan.
With its idyllic views of the highest peak of Mont Blanc in Western Europe and its reputation as a hub of international organizations and a symbol of Switzerland’s bold neutrality, Geneva provides an interesting background for the summit.
In 1985, when President Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev, the city finally welcomed American and Russian leaders.
In March, the Biden administration announced sanctions against several Russian mid-level and senior executives, as well as more than 12 companies and other organizations, over a nearly deadly nerve agent attack on Navalny in August 2020 and subsequent imprisonment. Did. Navalny returned to Russia a few days before Biden’s inauguration on January 20, and was immediately arrested.
Last month, the administration announced that it would expel 10 Russian diplomats and sanction dozens of Russian businesses and individuals in response to SolarWinds and allegations of election interference.
But even when Biden pushed for the latest sanctions, he admitted that he refrained from taking harsher actions. He tried to send a message to Putin, but wanted the United States and Russia to be able to understand the rules. Of the game in their hostile relationship.
Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse has criticized Biden’s decision to meet Putin as “weak.” Commercial flight from Greece to Lithuania to arrest opposition journalists.
Senators also criticized Biden for avoiding German sanctions on Nord Stream 2, which was categorically opposed by US lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“Are we rewarding Putin at the summit?” Sas said. “Instead of treating Putin like a gangster who fears his people, we give him his precious Nord Stream 2 pipeline and justify his actions at the summit.”
White House spokesman Pusaki opposed the criticism, saying Biden saw the summit as “a moment of face-to-face diplomacy to communicate areas of concern and seek areas of opportunity to cooperate.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also welcomed the news of the summit. “Diplomatic only has an opportunity when we talk to each other,” Merkel said.
During the White House campaign, Biden described Russia as the “greatest threat” to US security and alliances and despised Trump for his cozy relationship with Putin.
Trump avoided direct conflict with Putin and often tried to downplay the malicious behavior of Russian leaders. Their only summitTrump, held in Helsinki in July 2018, is characterized by Putin’s refusal to stand on the side of US intelligence because he denied Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election.
A few weeks after taking office, Biden told State Department officials in a previous speech that he had told Putin on his first phone call that “the era of capsizing the United States in the face of Russia’s aggressive behavior is over.”
In a March interview with ABC News, Biden replied affirmatively when asked by interviewer George Stephanopoulos if he thought Putin was a “murderer.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Biden’s comments indicate that he “does not want to improve relations” with Russia.
Keeten reported from Geneva. Contributed by Associated Press writers Matthew Lee and Alexandra Jaffe of Washington, Vladimir Isachenkov of Moscow, and Frank Jordan of Berlin.
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Face-to-face: President Putin’s June Summit in Higher Tension | Domestic and Global
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