US President Biden meets Russian President Putin in Geneva for summit

Geneva - Both have said they hope their talks can lead to more stable and predictable relations.



By Reuters

Published: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 3:58 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 4:03 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he hoped a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Geneva would be productive.

"Mr President, I'd like to thank you for your initiative to meet today," Putin said, sitting next to Biden and accompanied by the two countries' foreign ministers.

Biden said the two leaders would try to determine areas of cooperation and mutual interest.

"It is always better to meet face to face," Biden said.

The US President and Putin square up on Wednesday for their first meeting since Biden took office with deep disagreements likely and expectations low for any breakthroughs.

Both have said they hope their talks in a lakeside Geneva villa can lead to more stable and predictable relations, even though they remain at odds over everything from arms control and cyber-hacking to election interference and Ukraine.

"We're not expecting a big set of deliverables out of this meeting," a senior U.S. official told reporters, saying the two are expected to talk for four or five hours.

Relations have deteriorated for years, notably with Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, its 2015 intervention in Syria and US charges - denied by Moscow - of its meddling in the 2016 election that brought Donald Trump to the White House.

They sank further in March when Biden said he thought Putin was a "killer", prompting Russia to recall its ambassador to Washington for consultations. The United States recalled its ambassador in April.

The senior US official said the United States was looking at "areas where working together can advance our national interests and make the world safer."


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