Europe

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin to meet in Geneva on June 16

Joe Biden will meet Vladimir Putin in Geneva next month in their first face-to-face meeting as presidents, the White House has announced.

“The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the US-Russia relationship,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The meeting will occur on June 16 amid several international gatherings. It falls days after the G7 meeting in the United Kingdom where Russia is sure to be a topic of discussion among world leaders.

It will also directly follow the June 14 gathering of NATO leaders where they will discuss global challenges including “Russia’s aggressive actions”.

A statement released by the Kremlin said Putin would discuss with Biden “the state and prospects for the further development of Russian-American relations, strategic stability issues, as well as topical issues on the international agenda, including interaction in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the settlement of regional conflicts.”

Biden has taken a tougher stance on Putin than his predecessor Donald Trump who was reluctant to confront the Russian leader or address interference in the US elections.

Biden stated in a March interview with ABC that he agreed President Putin was a “killer”, for instance.

The Biden administration has maintained, however, that they seek a “stable and predictable” relationship with Russia even amid rising tensions on multiple fronts.

In March, the US government issued sanctions against Russian officials over Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s poisoning and subsequent arrest.

The US then issued further sanctions in April against dozens of individuals and companies in Russia over the SolarWinds hack which included breaches of multiple US federal government agencies.

Sanctions were also brought against Russian entities over “Russian government-directed attempts to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election, and other acts of disinformation and interference,” the Biden administration said.

The US expelled last month ten Russian diplomats from Washington D.C. over the cyber attack.

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