Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden will meet in Geneva on Wednesday. The White House has said Biden will bring up ransomware attacks emanating from Russia, Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, the jailing of dissidents and other issues that have irritated the relationship. Mr Putin praised former President Donald Trump as “an extraordinary individual, talented individual,” and said Biden, as a career politician, was “radically different” from Trump.
Speaking to NBC News, Mr Putin said: “We have a bilateral relationship that has deteriorated to its lowest point in recent years.”
Asked about Biden calling him a killer in an interview in March, Putin said he had heard dozens of such accusations.
“This is not something I worry about in the least,” Putin said.
Biden, at the start of an eight-day visit to Europe this week, said: “We’re not seeking conflict with Russia.”
READ MORE: Vladimir Putin avoids answering whether he is a ‘killer’ in interview
“We want a stable and predictable relationship but I’ve been clear: The United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities.”
Putin was asked about several Russian dissidents whose deaths have been blamed on Moscow, including ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned in 2006.
Putin dismissed the question as verbal indigestion.
He said some of those responsible for the deaths are in prison.
It comes as Swiss President Guy Parmelin will meet Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during the summit being held with US President Joe Biden in Geneva, the Swiss government said on Friday.
Bilateral talks between Switzerland and Russia will take place on Wednesday, with the Swiss saying it was seeking to maintain a “constructive and critical dialogue with Russia in order to further strengthen relations.”
“Switzerland and Russia have close relations in many areas as well as a respectful and good dialogue,” Parmelin said in a tweet. “I am pleased…I am able to meet with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Geneva summit.”
Parmelin will meet Biden on Tuesday, the government said.