Handshake in Geneva: Biden and Putin end the first round of talks

Handshake in Geneva: Biden and Putin end the first round of talks

Handshake in Geneva

Biden and Putin end the first round of talks

In times of extremely tense relations, the presidents of the United States and Russia meet in Geneva. After a handshake, a conversation begins in a small group – which only takes a little longer than planned. Official agreements between the two are not expected.

At the summit between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva, the first round of talks in a smaller circle ended. The White House reported that the conversation between the two presidents and their foreign ministers, Antony Blinken and Sergei Lavrov, plus translators, had lasted 93 minutes. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, the minutes allowed 75 minutes for this format. In a second round, Biden and Putin wanted to meet with a wider group of their delegations after a break.

Biden and Putin had previously greeted each other with a handshake in front of the historic Villa La Grange on Lake Geneva. It is the first face-to-face meeting between the two of them since Biden took office in January. Putin landed in Geneva around noon. The US President had already traveled from Brussels on Tuesday, where he had met the leaders of the EU.

The summit, which according to the Kremlin will last four to five hours, is eagerly awaited in view of the heavily strained relations between the two countries. Both governments, however, dampened expectations in advance. Official agreements between the two presidents are not planned. Afterwards, Biden and Putin appear separately in front of the press. Both presidents want to fly back to their homeland that evening, according to the delegations. Joint meals are not provided. The heads of state wanted to spend the planned breaks separately.

Biden wants to address human rights

Both heads of state caused a sensation in advance with statements about the respective interlocutor. In March, when asked by a journalist whether Putin considered Putin to be a murderer (“killer”), Biden replied: “I do.” The statement was sharply criticized by Moscow. Putin, on the other hand, disparagingly called the US president a “career man” shortly before the summit, while he called Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump “talented and colorful”.

Experts expect that both politicians could initiate new negotiations for nuclear disarmament and control of the arsenals. According to information from both sides, topics are also the conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and the dispute over the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea.

Biden had announced that he would be critical of the increasing repression and human rights violations in Russia. It is expected that Biden will address the case of the imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny and the delicate situation in authoritarian Belarus. Washington also sees Moscow behind cyber attacks on US facilities and accuses Russia of interfering in US elections. Russia rejects these allegations.

Ambassadors could return

According to Putin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov, the meeting is also about a possible return of the respective ambassadors to Moscow and Washington. Russia withdrew its ambassador because of Biden’s “killer” statement about Putin and later asked the US ambassador to return to his homeland as part of new “anti-Russian sanctions”.

Putin and Biden agree that the relationship between their countries, which has been overshadowed by numerous sanctions, is at a “low point”. Putin’s spokesman Peskov told the Tass state agency: “Even in Soviet history, we have never had such a shortage of contacts.” This lack of dialogue now exists “against the background of a growing potential for conflict in the world”. Putin’s spokesman referred to pressing global issues such as “regional conflicts, disarmament problems, problems in the area of ​​strategic stability, arms control”.

In the past few days, Biden had secured support for his meeting with Putin from allies in the G7 group of important industrialized countries, NATO and the EU. “I will make President Putin understand that there are areas in which we can work together if he chooses,” said Biden after the NATO summit on Monday. “And in the areas where we disagree, make it clear what the red lines are.”

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Killian Jones

Author: Killian Jones
Graduated From Princeton University.He has been at the USTV since 2017.
Function: Chief-Editor
E-mail: admin@ustv.online

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