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June 16, 2021 @ 11:12 +03:00
When President Joe Biden meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday it will be one of the most closely watched pieces of geopolitical theater this year. Biden’s summit with Putin in Switzerland, chosen for its history of political neutrality, will not be the first time the two have met. But it will be their first meeting since Biden became U.S. president, the so-called leader of the free world.
The Biden-Putin summit is expected to strike a sharply different tone than the meeting that took place in July 2018 between then-President Donald Trump and Putin in Helsinki. Trump insisted that the two leaders meet at the beginning of the summit without any aides present — stirring concerns that the former KGB officer would outflank his American counterpart. This week’s meeting between Biden and Putin comes on the heels of Biden’s first international trip as president, where he reaffirmed alliances with G-7 leaders and NATO allies. At NATO’s headquarters, Biden told reporters that he consulted with other world leaders in the days ahead of his meeting with Putin.
On Tuesday, a Kremlin aide said nuclear stability, climate change and cybersecurity were on the agenda for the summit, Reuters reported, as well as the outlook for Russian and U.S. nationals imprisoned in each other’s countries. Nonetheless, the aide said he was not sure any agreements could be reached. Russia is largely seen as a pariah in the West following a series of incidents perpetrated by — or at least involving — Moscow in recent years that have provoked international condemnation and criticism. Confrontation over Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s imprisonment in Russia is the latest in the already tense relations.
Biden and Putin are about to have a high-stakes meeting: Here’s what you need to know, CNBC, Jun 16