November 27, 2022

Biden, Putin Begin Highly-anticipated Summit | Voice of America

GENEVA – U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have begun their highly anticipated summit in Geneva, the Swiss capital chosen as a location for the summit for its history of political neutrality.   

The leaders thanked each other during the brief, and chaotic press opportunity at the beginning of their meeting where American and Russian media jostled each other. 

“Mr. President, I’d like to thank you for your initiative to meet today. I know that you’ve been on a long journey,” said Putin via an interpreter. “The U.S. and Russian relations have a lot of issues accumulated that require the highest-level meeting. And I hope that our meeting will be productive,” he added.

Biden responded in kind. “Thank you,” Biden said. “As I said outside, I think it’s always better to meet face to face.”  

Both sides have been underscoring opportunities for cooperation but are downplaying expectations for any improvement in tense relations between Moscow and Washington. The meeting is expected to be more of an airing of grievances than a platform to reach significant agreements.

“We’re not expecting a big set of deliverables out of this meeting,” said a senior administration official, briefing VOA and other reporters on board Air Force One during Biden’s flight to Switzerland.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin, third left,  arrives for the US - Russia summit with US President Joe Biden in Switzerland.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, third left, arrives for the US – Russia summit with US President Joe Biden in Switzerland, June 16, 2021.

Putin landed in Geneva shortly before his arrival at Villa La Grange, the summit location, around 1 pm local time. Biden arrived at the venue shortly afterward – a diplomatic dance the White House choreographed to avoid a repeat of the Helsinki Summit in 2018 where Putin’s late arrival kept then President Donald Trump waiting for over 30 minutes.  The two shook hands before going into talks.

P+1 followed by P+5 

After the initial greeting and meeting with the host, President of the Swiss Confederation Guy Parmelin, the two leaders conduct their first session in a “P+1” format. Biden is accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken while Putin has Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at his side. There is an interpreter for each side. 

Following the smaller format, the American and Russian delegations hold a wider “P+5” meeting. That meeting is expected to last at least four hours according to the senior administration official. The official said the U.S. and Russians agreed to build in flexibility to allow the leaders to “make determinations about the best way to conduct their business,” but added there will be “no breaking of bread” between the leaders.  

The official said Biden’s goals include seeking areas where the United States and Russia can work together while clearly stating U.S. vital national interests and making it clear that “Russian activities that run counter to those interests will be met with a response.” He also aims to lay out his “vision for American values and our national priorities.”    

One possible outcome from the summit is the reversal of the recall of each country’s ambassador. U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan and Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov returned home earlier this year amid worsening U.S.-Russia relations. Both are in Geneva and will participate in the P+5 part of the summit. 

The meeting concludes Biden’s first trip abroad as president. During the past week, he has attended the G-7 summit and held talks with NATO and European Union leaders, seeking to boost relations with allies and consult with them about the U.S.-Russia talks.  

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, U.S. President Joe Biden, center and European Council President.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, U.S. President Joe Biden, center and European Council President Charles Michel arrive for the EU-US summit at the European Council building in Brussels, June 15, 2021.

In an interview with NBC News, Putin said U.S.-Russia ties had deteriorated to their “lowest point in recent years.”   

Asked by a reporter shortly after his arrival Tuesday in Geneva if he was ready for his meeting with Putin, the U.S. leader said, “I’m always ready.”  

The administration official told reporters Tuesday that cybersecurity, in particular ransomware attacks, “will be a significant topic of conversation” between Biden and Putin.

President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as they meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as they meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, June 16, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland.

In April, Biden expelled 10 Russian diplomats and imposed new sanctions on six Russian technology companies that provide support to the cyber program run by Putin’s intelligence services linked to the hacking of the SolarWinds information technology company.    

In May, two key U.S. businesses — Colonial Pipeline, which transports fuel in the southeastern United States, and the JBS meat production company — were targeted in cyberattacks believed to have originated in Russia. Both Colonial and JBS paid millions of dollars in ransom to restore their business operations, although U.S. law enforcement officials have recovered most of the money Colonial paid.   

Putin has rejected U.S. claims that Moscow and Russian hackers are carrying out debilitating cyberattacks on American companies and government agencies. 

 

in U.S.
Related Posts

China, US Diplomats Clash Over Human Rights, Pandemic Origin | Voice of America

June 12, 2021

June 12, 2021

BEIJING – Top U.S. and Chinese diplomats appear to have had another sharply worded exchange, with Beijing saying it told...

Biden Says US Will Donate 500 Million COVID Vaccines to World | Voice of America

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

On Thursday, the eve of the G-7 summit in Cornwall, England, U.S. President Joe Biden formally announced what had been...

Pentagon Report on UFOs Expected This Week | Voice of America

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

What do the Pentagon, the FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies know about UFOs? A report due this week is...

US Supreme Court Gives States More Leeway to Restrict Voting | Voice of America

July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday made it easier Thursday for states to enact voting restrictions, endorsing Republican-backed measures in...

US Hands Control of Bagram Airfield to Afghan National Security Forces | Voice of America

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

U.S. forces have left Bagram Airfield, the main American base in Afghanistan, and handed control over to Afghan National Security...

Blinken in Jordan to Solidify Mideast Cease-fire Truce | Voice of America

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Jordan Wednesday on the last leg of a Middle East tour for...

Putin Dismisses US Claims of Russian Cyberattacks | Voice of America

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

WASHINGTON – Russian President Vladimir Putin is sharply dismissing U.S. claims that Moscow and Russian hackers are carrying out debilitating...

Federal Probe: Protest Last Summer Not Broken Up Due to Trump Photo Op | Voice of America

June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021

WASHINGTON – An internal investigation has determined that the decision to forcibly clear racial justice protesters from an area in...

Western Nations Condemn Belarus at UN Security Council 

November 12, 2021

November 12, 2021

NEW YORK —  The United States and European members of the U.N. Security Council condemned Belarus on Thursday for what...

Biden to Name Pulse Nightclub a National Memorial | Voice of America

June 13, 2021

June 13, 2021

President Joe Biden said on the fifth anniversary of a mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that...

White House Launches Broader Scrutiny of Foreign Tech | Voice of America

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

An executive order signed by President Joe Biden this week dropped a Trump-era measure that barred Americans from downloading TikTok...

US Targets Myanmar’s Military With Another Round of Sanctions | Voice of America

July 3, 2021

July 3, 2021

The United States on Friday announced sanctions against military officials and individuals and companies tied to Myanmar’s military in the...

Exclusive: CENTCOM Head Says US Focused on Strikes in Afghanistan That Prevent Attacks on US, Allies | Voice of America

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

New details have emerged about the expected U.S. role in Afghanistan after America’s military exit after nearly 20 years of war. Our VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb is...

US Vice President Harris to Visit US-Mexico Border | Voice of America

June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is planning to visit the U.S.-Mexico border Friday as part of her effort...

Biden Takes ‘America is Back’ Message to Brussels | Voice of America

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

BRUSSELS – Joe Biden took his ‘America is Back’ message to Brussels, reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the North...