President Joe Biden and Russian President Putin are meeting in Geneva. Here’s what you would like to know:
- The closed-door meeting is predicted to last four to 5 hours.
- Putin arrived first, with Biden’s motorcade pulling in to the villa where they’re meeting a couple of minutes later.
- Putin will give his own news conference . Then Biden will give his.
- We’ll stream Biden’s news conference live here when it starts.
“It’s always better to satisfy face to face,” Biden said as reporters crowded into the book-lined room where the leaders will meet.
For the initial a part of the meeting, which lasted 90 minutes, the 2 men were joined by only one top aide each, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian secretary of state Sergey Lavrov. it had been then opened to a bigger circle of aides.
“The U.S. and Russian relations have tons of issues,” Putin said through a translator. “I hope that our meeting are going to be productive.”
The Russian president slouched in his chair for what became an extended and raucous photo opportunity , with journalists jockeying for position. Biden sat up straight in his seat, positioned several feet faraway from Putin.
NPR’s Franco Ordonez, who is among the reporters traveling with Biden, described a chaotic scene, with the pool of journalists traveling with the U.S. president initially barred from entry to the space . There was tons of pushing and yelling and at one point, Ordonez says, a U.S. official tried to tug him through the scrum and into the space but “another non-U.S. security agent grabbed me and threw me back.”
Eventually, a few U.S. journalists were ready to get into the space and obtain a view of the 2 leaders, but the pushing and shoving by security officials and Russian media never stopped.
Earlier Biden and Putin shook hands outdoors at the doorway to Villa La Grange, lingering on the handshake long enough for photographers to capture the instant . it had been the beginning of the primary formal meeting between the leaders of the 2 nations in three years, a stretch during which U.S.-Russian relations have grown increasingly strained.
Aides say Biden isn’t there to form friends or build trust with a rival he describes as “bright,” “tough” and “a worthy adversary.” There’s much on the U.S. agenda — from recent ransomware attacks perpetrated by Russian cybercriminals and therefore the air piracy in Belarus to limitation and global climate change . There are concerns to be voiced about human rights abuses, strongman tactics against opposition leaders and therefore the imprisonment of two Americans.
The last meeting between Putin and former President Donald Trump ended with the now-infamous Helsinki news conference where Trump sided with the Russian leader over U.S. intelligence agencies (which Trump later tried to backtrack).
There won’t be a repeat of that scene this point , not least because Biden and Putin won’t be holding a joint news conference after their meeting. Aides say the meeting is predicted to last four to 5 hours but won’t include a meal, “no breaking of bread,” a senior administration official told reporters.
In the initiate to the summit, Biden refused to mention what exactly he hopes to urge out of the meeting, what he intends to push Putin on or what success would appear as if , saying it wouldn’t add up to barter within the press.
“I will tell you this: I’m getting to explain to President Putin that there are areas where we will cooperate, if he chooses,” Biden said during a news conference Monday. “And if he chooses to not cooperate and acts during a way that he has within the past, relative to cybersecurity and a few other activities, then we’ll respond. we’ll respond in a similar way .”
Biden met Putin when he was vice chairman , and he has openly criticized the Russian leader, once calling him a “killer.” Asked about those comments in an NBC interview before the summit, Putin laughed it off. He also downplayed hacking concerns as he has with other cyber intrusions blamed on Russia.
“[Biden’s] view is that this is often not a gathering about trust, it isn’t a gathering about friendship — it is a meeting about deciding where we will find footing , and also being straightforward and candid about areas where we’ve concern,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a midair briefing on Air Force One.
Biden told reporters he didn’t want to possess a joint news conference with Putin to avoid breathless analysis of visual communication .
But the shortage of a joint news conference does mean that Biden won’t need to stand next to Putin with an open mic. Instead, during a highly choreographed sequence of events, Putin will hold his news conference first. Then Biden will take questions from reporters. This setup will allow the American president to characterize the meeting and if necessary counter the narrative unspooled by Putin.
As the meeting was getting underway, the Republican National Committee sent out a press release criticizing Biden for inviting Putin to satisfy .
Danielle Alvarez, the communications director for the RNC, said within the statement that the meeting was a win that “Biden has handed Russia.”
“The American people deserve a pacesetter who prioritizes our interests and holds bad actors accountable,” she said.
There has been a long-standing tradition of refraining from criticizing a president while on a foreign trip, but that practice has gradually eroded. Republicans are preparing to portray Biden as weak, no matter how the meeting goes. U.S. presidents going back to George W. Bush have all met with Putin during their time in office.
During the Trump administration, Democrats and even many Republicans criticized Trump for meeting with North Korea’s president, Kim Jong Un, without preconditions.
Source: NPR News