Biden sets Putin for Geneva talks | Voice of America

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Geneva on Wednesday, and both sides have stated that expectations for a major agreement are low.

US and Russian officials said there was likely a four- to five-hour meeting. The agreed form will include the first meeting with two leaders, along with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, followed by further discussions with the expanded group.

Biden administration officials told reporters on their way to Geneva that one of the potential consequences of Wednesday was to overturn the recall of ambassadors from each country.

US Ambassador John Sullivan and Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov returned earlier this year as US-Russian relations deteriorated. Both ambassadors were scheduled to be in Geneva on Wednesday.

A senior U.S. government official stated that Biden’s goal at the meeting was to explore areas where the U.S. and Russia could work together, clearly stating the important national interests of the United States, and “Russia’s activities against these interests will be addressed.” Stated. And present his “vision for American values ​​and our country’s priorities.”

The meeting will take place in the last few hours of Biden’s first overseas trip as president. Last week he attended the G7 Summit, meeting with NATO and European Union leaders, aiming to strengthen relations with allies and discuss the US-Russia talks.

“I’m always ready,” said a US leader when a reporter shortly after arriving in Geneva on Tuesday asked if he was ready for a meeting with Putin.

The United States is raising a flag on a bridge near the fountain Jet Doe on Lake Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 15, 2021.

In an interview with NBC News, Putin said US-Russian relations had deteriorated to “the lowest point in the last few years.”

After the meeting, Biden and Putin are expected to appear separately in front of reporters, unlike 2018, when Putin and former US President Donald Trump held a joint news conference after the summit in Helsinki.

At the time, Trump contradicted his own intelligence, saying there was no reason to doubt Putin’s claim that Russia did not interfere with the 2016 US presidential election.

A White House official said, “A single press conference clearly communicates the topics raised at the conference with the free press, both in terms of areas we may agree with and areas of serious concern. It’s the right format for. ” ..

U.S. officials told reporters Tuesday that cybersecurity, especially ransomware attacks, “will be a topic of important conversation” between Biden and Putin.

“And the president will make it clear that if we see significant types of cyber activity, as we did with SolarWinds, we will respond as we did with SolarWinds,” officials said.

In April, Biden expelled 10 Russian diplomats and imposed new sanctions on six Russian technology companies supporting cyber programs run by Putin’s intelligence services related to the hacking of SolarWinds information technology companies. ..

In May, two major US companies, a colonial pipeline that transports fuel in the southeastern United States and a JBS meat manufacturer, were targeted by a possible cyberattack in Russia. Both Colonial and JBS paid millions of dollars in ransom to restore business operations, but US law enforcement officials recovered a portion of the amount paid by Colonial.

Putin rejected US claims that Moscow and Russian hackers are conducting debilitating cyberattacks on US companies and government agencies.

The two leaders are also expected to cover the stability of strategic nuclear weapons and the sour relationship between Russia and the West.

VOA Senior White House Correspondent Patsy Widakuswara contributed to this report.

Biden sets Putin for Geneva talks | Voice of America

Source link Biden sets Putin for Geneva talks | Voice of America

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