Published On: Wed, Jun 16th, 2021

Biden-Putin Geneva Summit: White House Seeks Stable US-Russia Relations

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By Janet Ekstract

GENEVA- The highly anticipated meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking place today. Biden is known for being a long-time skeptic of the Russian leader and in recent comments Biden said: “Given Russia’s recent history, we need to judge it by its deeds not its words, don’t tell us, show us.” The Biden administration has already imposed sanctions on top Russian officials in the wake of crippling ransomware attacks as one measure of dealing with Russia’s violations. The White House said in a statement on the Geneva Summit that the intention is to “restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship.”

The National Security Council Senior Director for Russia, Eric Green said a major goal at today’s meeting of the two leaders will be to “establish very clear lines of communication” with Russia. Green said the agenda will cover a wide range of issues that include future arms control arrangements, recent ransomware attacks that the US suspects Russia is behind, climate change and Kremlin-imposed restrictions on the US diplomatic presence in Russia

Also on the agenda will be advocating for the release of American citizens currently detained in Russia as well as Biden reaffirming the US commitment to the sovereignty of Ukraine. The White House plans to discuss areas of mutual interest in Iran, North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan and the Arctic. In terms of the U.S.-Russia relationship, Green said: “We are not interested in a reset nor do we want escalation with Russia.” He added “this is a much different Russia” than in the era of Obama in 2009 and commented that the US is cognizant of the fact that Russia maintains one of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals. Green commented “which means that whether we like it or not, we have to work with them on certain core challenges out there in the world.” And as Green added: “But we have no illusions about what is happening inside Russia and we don’t see a lot of opportunities for real constructive engagement in a lot of areas.” Biden will hold a solo press conference later today after his five-hour meeting with Putin.

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