Biden, Putin To Meet In Person Next Month In Geneva

Biden, Putin To Meet In Person Next Month In Geneva

Mona Salama
Mona Salama
|
May 25, 2021

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to meet in person next month in Geneva, Switzerland; the White House confirmed the Biden-Putin summit in an announcement Tuesday.

The White House announced the meeting in a statement, saying the two leaders “will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship.”

The meeting is expected to take place on June 16, where both Biden and Putin are slated to a range of issues, including Iran and North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, Syria, the Arctic, strategic stability, arms control, climate change, COVID-19, and more.

Before the talks with Putin, Biden is slated to attend the annual Group of Seven (G-7) summit in the United Kingdom from June 11-13 and travel to Brussels for a NATO summit for meetings with European Union leaders on June 14,  According to a source, Biden will meet with his Russian counterpart once after meeting with G-7 allies and the NATO alliance so that he can understand their concerns and perspectives on Russia.

The source also noted that no significant agreements should be expected between the two leaders, only that the meeting would serve as an opportunity for Biden and Putin to engage on intentions, plans, and perspectives.

Last month, Biden talked with Putin over the phone, at the Russian president’s request, proposed a summit for the two leaders, and suggested that it should take place outside of the United States and Russia. The call for the sitdown talks came after the Biden administration unveiled a raft of sanctions intended to penalize Russia for the SolarWinds cyberattack and meddling in the 2020 presidential election.

“President Biden emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the White House readout of the call last month said. “The President voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions.”

The in-person meeting between the two leaders comes after a tense back-and-forth earlier this year, with Biden warning that Putin would “pay a price” following a declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which contained evidence of attempted Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election.

Aside from imposing measures sanctioned 32 entities and individuals in response to a form of punishment for the SolarWinds hack that occurred last month and alleged Russian meddling in the 2020 election, Biden first ignited diplomatic tensions between the two in March when he agreed during an interview when asked if he believes the Russian leader was a “killer.”

Putin reacted to Biden, calling him a “killer,” and challenged his American counterpart to participate in a live debate, but the White House refused to make the event happen, saying that the president is “quite busy.”

Biden had recently come under bipartisan criticism when he decided to waive sanctions against a Russian-owned company behind Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany.

In response to the White House meeting, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted asking if “Putin will arrive with a birthday cake to accompany the multi-billion dollar present that Biden gave him by waiving sanctions against Nord Stream 2.” In another tweet, Cruz asked if the sanctions “was a precondition” for the June 16 meeting

Mona Salama

Mona Salama

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