The presidents’ meeting is over: Putin called it constructive, Biden talked about finding a way

Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference that the tone of the talks with the White House chief was constructive, not hostile. Asked whether relations between the two great powers would improve, Putin answered vaguely. “It’s hard to say whether it will improve, but there was a glimmer of hope for mutual trust,” the Russian president said. The head of the Kremlin described his counterpart as constructive and experienced.

He allegedly agreed with Biden on the return of the Russian ambassador to Washington and the American ambassador to Moscow. Both ambassadors were called in for consultations earlier this year due to growing tensions in US-Russia relations. “They are returning to their place of service. When this will happen is a purely technical issue, “Putin said.

Russia withdrew its ambassador from Washington after Biden agreed in one of the interviews in March to ask if he considered Putin a “killer.” The Russian president said today that the White House chief had previously called him over the case to explain his words to him, and that the explanation was satisfactory.

The two ambassadors, Russia’s Anatoly Antonov and America’s John Sullivan, attended today’s second part of the US-Russia summit, according to TASS.

Putin added that he did not receive an invitation to the White House from US President Biden. “The right time must come for such a situation,” the Russian president said, noting that he had not yet invited his American counterpart to Russia.

According to Putin, both countries will also launch closer consultations on comprehensive cooperation at the diplomatic level. He mentioned, among other things, cybersecurity. “I am convinced that both sides want to find a solution,” said the Russian president.

During the talks, both presidents also raised the issue of the situation in Ukraine. “We have only one commitment. This is a contribution to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. If the Ukrainian side is ready for that, then we will go down this path, “said Putin. He added that the same view was held by Joe Biden, according to whom the Minsk agreements are a way to resolve the conflict in Eastern Europe.

At the initiative of Joe Biden, according to Putin, both statesmen also came to the issue of human rights. During the press conference, the Russian president avoided saying the name of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who is currently in prison. “The opposition knew he was violating Russian law and would be detained upon his arrival in Russia,” Putin said when asked about Navalny.

He continued the issue of human rights and, on that occasion, mentioned the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement, which are taking place in the United States. “We have sympathies with the United States, but we do not want anything like this to happen in our country,” Putin said.

Biden reportedly talked to Putin about “ground rules”

The United States and Russia must have “certain basic rules of the road.” According to US President Joe Biden, this was one of his main messages to Russian President Vladimir Putin at their meeting in Geneva today. Biden said there was also a proposal to keep certain types of critical infrastructure out of the reach of cyber attacks.

At the beginning of his press conference, the American president also touched on the topic of arms control. According to him, the two leaders reached specific points in this matter and agreed to launch a “bilateral dialogue on stability”. The United States and Russia should be able to work together in areas where they have common interests, and mutual relations should be stable and predictable, Biden said.

“The main thing is that I told President Putin that we must have some basic rules of the way,” the White House chief said after his first meeting with Putin since taking office at the head of the United States in January. He mentioned the cyber attacks, on which Washington blames groups operating in Russia, or even parts of the Russian state. Moscow denies all allegations in this regard, as do the findings of US investigators that Russia has sought to influence public debate in the United States around the last two presidential elections.

“I told President Putin that my agenda was not against Russia or anyone else. It is here for the American people, “said the American president. According to him, his Russian counterpart understands that a new Cold War “is clearly not in anyone’s interest.”

In addition to assuring him that he would always defend the sovereignty of American democracy in his relations with Russia, Biden said that human rights would always be on the table. The United States is said to continue to raise concerns about the case of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned last year and is now in prison after being convicted of embezzlement. If Navalny died, the consequences for Russia would be “devastating,” the US president added.

Participation of several politicians

The meeting in Villa La Grange was divided into two parts, the introductory participation was attended not only by the Heads of State but also by the Foreign Ministers of the United States and Russia Antony Blinken and Sergei Lavrov. After a break, other members of both delegations joined them.

According to the TASS agency, the Russian side included Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov and the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army, Valery Gerasimov.

According to CNN, the composition of the American delegation was completed by Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan, the head of the Russian section of the American National Security Council Eric Green and Deputy Foreign Minister Victoria Nuland.

The second part of the summit was also attended by Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov and US Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan.

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It was the first meeting of the presidents of the two great powers with the currently very cold mutual relations since Biden’s takeover in January this year. It was also the first Russian-American summit since July 2018, when Putin met with then-White House chief Donald Trump in Helsinki.

Due to tense relations, observers did not expect concrete results from today’s summit. Washington said before the meeting that its goal was to establish stable and predictable mutual relations. For Moscow, according to experts, the meeting is primarily a question of prestige.

In recent years, Washington has imposed sanctions on senior Russian officials over a number of disputes over the 2014 Crimean annexation, allegations of interference in the US election, or large-scale cyber attacks against US companies and authorities that Washington says hackers have linked to Moscow. However, she denies the accusations and claims that the whole West is torn by anti-Russian hysteria.

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