Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin to meet in Geneva on June 16
US President Joe Biden will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16 seeking to “restore predictability and stability” to the bilateral relationship, the White House announced on Tuesday.
It will be their first meeting after Biden took office as president. They have interacted virtually before, including at a climate summit hosted by the American president.
“The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the US-Russia relationship,” the White House said.
The Geneva meeting comes amid rising tensions between the two countries over a growing list of issues, including Russian meddling in US elections, the SolarWinds hacking of the networks of the US government and companies, and Moscow’s handling of the jailed dissident Alexei Navalny.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Reykjavik, Iceland last week on the sidelines of a meeting of the Arctic Council.
Blinken had conveyed to Lavrov at that time that the US desired “a more stable and predictable relationship with Moscow”.
Blinken had listed out the issues hanging over the relationship: Russia’s continued military deployment in and near Ukraine, actions against VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the health of Navalny, and the “repression of opposition organisations”.
They had also discussed Syria, the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and “areas in which both of our people could benefit from sustained and enhanced cooperation” such as Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programme.
Just hours before the meeting, the Biden administration announced it was calling off proposed sanctions on a Russian company that runs pipelines carrying natural gas to Europe.