Joe Biden and Putin to finally meet face-to-face – world holds breath as summit planned


    The summit will be held at the end of the US President’s visit to Europe and after he meets with American allies in NATO and the European Union. According to a source familiar with the issue, no significant agreements are expected from the Geneva summit.

    Mr Biden – who raised the prospect of a summit with Mr Putin earlier this year – previously expressed the important roles that personal relationships play in foreign policy.

    While the world holds its breath for the first face-to-face meeting, the Kremlin has not confirmed where Mr Putin will even show up for the summit.

    Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday: “In the most general terms I can say that, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed more than once, we are prepared to consider and address any issues on the bilateral agenda and also to work together on settling regional problems and regional conflicts and crises.”

    During a meeting with Mr Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week, the two parties laid out the various areas of dispute.

    But they both agreed there exists potential topics of cooperation, including how to stop climate change.

    Last month, Mr Biden offered to hold the summit on neutral ground amid growing tensions between Moscow and Washington over border conflicts with Ukraine.

    The increased numbers of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine sparked widespread alarm and warnings from NATO.

    But during his call with Mr Putin, the US President reaffirmed Washington’s support for Kiev’s pro-Western government.

    He urged Russia to “de-escalate tensions” but also offered to hold his first face-to-face talk with Mr Putin on “the full range of issues facing the US and Russia”.

    Mr Biden has been a vocal critic of Mr Putin and in February he was asked whether he thought the Russian president was a killer to which he replied: “I do.”

    However, Mr Putin hit back at the remarks and said: “I remember in my childhood, when we argued in the courtyard with each other we used to say: ‘It takes one to know one’.

    “And that’s not a coincidence, not just a children’s saying or joke.

    “The psychological meaning here is very deep.

    “We always see our own traits in other people and think they are like how we really are.

    “And as a result, we assess (a person’s) activities and give assessments.”

    More to follow…


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