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Biden, Putin meet for long-anticipated summit – Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio 2021-06-16 07:50:00 –

Geneva (AP) — US President Joe Biden and Russian Vladimir Putin On Wednesday, we arrived at a lush lakeside Swiss mansion for the long-awaited summit. This is the resulting diplomatic moment when the two leaders agreed that the relationship between the two countries was the worst ever.

The two leaders shook hands with Swiss President Guy Parmelin, who was welcomed by Switzerland, while appearing briefly in front of the camera, and then entered the mansion, where a four- to five-hour meeting was scheduled.

For months, they have exchanged sharp rhetoric. Biden repeats Putin on malicious cyberattacks on US interests by Russian-based hackers, neglect of democracy due to imprisonment of Russia’s leading opposition leader, and interference with US elections I’m calling.

Putin pointed out the January 6 riots at the US Capitol, arguing that the United States had no business to lecture on the norms of democracy, and that the Kremlin was not involved. Election interference and cyberattacks, even though US intelligence has indicated otherwise.

Now, the two are meeting for the first time as leaders.In advance, both sides We set out to lower expectations.

Still, Mr Biden said it would be an important step if the United States and Russia could ultimately find “stability and predictability” in their relationship. ..

“We need to determine where cooperation is in our mutual interests, the interests of the world, and see if we can do that,” Biden told reporters earlier this week. “And the areas we disagree with clarify what the red line is.”

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told The Associated Press Wednesday that no breakthrough was expected and “the situation is too difficult for Russia-US relations.”

“But the fact that the two presidents met and finally agreed to start talking openly about the issue is already a feat,” Peskov said hours before the start of the summit.

Meeting arrangements were carefully choreographed and actively negotiated by both sides.

Biden first highlighted the meeting on the phone in April, telling Putin to expel some Russian diplomats. Imposing sanctions To dozens of people and businesses as part of an effort to hold the Kremlin accountable for interfering with last year’s presidential election and hacking federal agencies.

Putin and his aides first arrived at the summit. Villa Lagrange, a magnificent lakeside mansion in Geneva’s largest park. Next is Biden and his team. Putin landed in Geneva on Wednesday, just before the start of the scheduled meeting. Biden, who was in Europe for a week of meeting with his allies, arrived the day before.

The three spent a moment together in front of the camera, but only Parmelin said.

Biden and Putin were initially expected to hold a relatively intimate meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. There are translators on each side.

The meeting will then expand, with five senior aides on each side.

After the meeting is over, Putin will hold a single press conference followed by Biden. The White House opposed the joint press conference, deciding that it didn’t want to appear to promote Putin at the moment the president was urging European allies to put pressure on Putin to eliminate countless provocations. ..

Biden believes he has few peers on foreign policy. He traveled around the world as a member of the Senate Foreign Policy Committee and was given a difficult foreign policy task by President Barack Obama when Biden was Vice President. His portfolio, contains awkward places such as Iraq and Ukraine, was to evaluate the mettle of Xi Jinping of China when the went to the seat of power.

He reiterates that implementing effective foreign policy comes from forming strong personal relationships, such as Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which Biden called the “dictator.” And could find relationships with both traditional politicians like Justin of Canada. Trudeau.

But with Putin, the president “has no soul” Biden has been vigilant for a long time.. At the same time, he admits that Putin, who remained the most powerful figure in Russian politics over the span of five US presidents, is not without talent. Biden has indicated that he is cautiously approaching a meeting with Putin this week.

“He’s bright. He’s tough,” Biden said. “And I realized he was-as they say … a valuable enemy.”

The White House held up in hopes of finding a small area of ​​agreement.

No promises have been made, but senior government officials say both sides are expected to return their ambassadors to their posts after the meeting. Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, was recalled from Washington about three months after Biden called Putin a murderer. US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan left Moscow almost two months ago after Russia proposed to return to Washington for talks.

Both ambassadors are in Geneva during the meeting on Wednesday.

Biden administration officials say they believe they have something in common with arms control. The International Arms Control Group is pressing Russian and American leaders to begin promoting new arms control by holding “strategic stability” negotiations. Security front.

The Biden team expresses concerns about cybersecurity. In recent months, Russia-based hackers have launched alarming attacks on major US oil pipelines and Brazilian-based meat suppliers operating in the United States.

The Russian side said the imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was an internal political issue and one area where Putin did not engage Biden. However, an executive of the Biden administration said, “There is no problem off the president’s table,” suggesting that Navalny will appear.

There is no doubt that this meeting will lead to a comparison with President Donald Trump’s 2018 meeting with Putin in Helsinki. There, two leaders held a joint news conference, and Trump supported Russia’s denial when asked if Moscow interfered with the 2016 presidential election.

Biden made one-on-one preparations by reviewing the material and consulting with government officials and outside advisors. The aide said the level of preparation was not uncommon.Biden, in a simple exchange with reporters Arrive in Geneva on Tuesday night, He aimed to give the impression that he wasn’t sweating at his big meeting.

“I’m always ready,” Biden said.

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