President United StateAnd the Joe Biden, And the head RussiaAnd the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Their first summit will be held in Geneva next month – the two parties announced on Tuesday (25), in preparation for a new chapter in the tense relationship between the two countries.
White House Press Secretary Jane Basaki reported that the meeting in the Swiss city will take place on June 16.
“The leaders will discuss the full range of urgent matters as we seek to restore predictability and stability in the relationship between the United States and Russia,” he added.
The Kremlin confirmed the meeting and said in a statement that Putin and Biden would discuss “issues of strategic stability” as well as “resolving regional conflicts” and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden, who will make his first international trip as president, will travel to Geneva right after the summits with his main Western allies from the Group of Seven, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union.
The meeting with the Kremlin leader comes amid levels of tension not seen in years, and when Washington has reduced its ambitions to a mere relationship in which the two parties understand each other and can work together in specific areas.
Since taking office in January, Biden has imposed new sanctions on Moscow in response to what US officials see as Russia’s role in SolarWinds’ massive cyberattack and repeated interference in the 2020 presidential election.
Washington also strongly criticized Moscow for its poisoning and subsequent arrest of a former opponent of Putin, Alexey Navalny.
The summit announcement comes on the same day Navalny said he was the target of three new criminal cases, at a time of mounting pressure on his movement and followers.
Moreover, after Biden told an interlocutor that he agreed to describe Putin as a “murderer,” the Russian government officially declared the United States a “hostile” country.
The exchange of accusations is a far cry from the often curious relationship between Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump and Putin.
The Geneva summit will take place nearly three years after Trump supported the Kremlin leader, not an assessment by US intelligence agencies, on whether Moscow interfered in the 2016 US presidential election.
Both sides are working to calm the mood ahead of the Geneva summit. In this regard, the White House affirms its hopes to work with Russia on well-defined strategic issues, such as control of nuclear weapons and Iranian nuclear negotiations.
To clear the way, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Veteran Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met last week in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after the Blinkin and Lavrov meeting that the resumption of relations “will not be easy”, but saw a “positive sign.”
Moscow welcomed the US decision to waive the sanctions that delayed completion of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, an important route for supplying Russian energy to Europe. Washington fears that the European Union will become too dependent on the Russians.
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