Large gulf, slim hopes as Putin and Biden arrive for summit By Reuters

2/2 © Reuters. Flags of the U.S., Russia and Switzerland are pictured within the backyard in entrance of villa La Grange, sooner or later previous to the assembly of U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland June 15, 2021. Peter Klaunzer/Pool by way of R 2/2 By Steve Holland and


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© Reuters. Flags of the U.S., Russia and Switzerland are pictured within the backyard in entrance of villa La Grange, sooner or later previous to the assembly of U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland June 15, 2021. Peter Klaunzer/Pool by way of R

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By Steve Holland and Vladimir Soldatkin

GENEVA (Reuters) – Shaking arms in entrance of a grand Geneva villa, U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday started their first summit since Biden took workplace, with deep disagreements probably and expectations of fixing them low.

Each have mentioned they hope their talks can result in extra secure and predictable relations, though they’re at odds over all the pieces from arms management and cyber-hacking to election interference and Ukraine.

“We’re not anticipating an enormous set of deliverables out of this assembly,” a senior U.S. official informed reporters, saying the leaders had been anticipated to speak for 4 or 5 hours from round 1:30 p.m. (1130 GMT).

Putin and Biden exchanged just a few phrases earlier than going inside.

“I am undecided that any agreements will probably be reached,” mentioned Putin’s overseas coverage adviser, Yuri Ushakov.

Relations have been deteriorating for years, notably with Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, its 2015 intervention in Syria and U.S. fees – denied by Moscow – of meddling within the 2016 election that introduced Donald Trump to the White Home.

They sank additional in March when Biden mentioned he thought Putin was a “killer”, prompting Russia to recall its ambassador to Washington for consultations. The US recalled its ambassador in April.

The senior U.S. official mentioned the US was “areas the place working collectively can advance our nationwide pursuits and make the world safer”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned two presidents would “want to find out learn how to proceed with the heads of the diplomatic missions”, in accordance Peskov to Russian information companies.

Whereas the problems could also be vexing, not less than the fast environment of Villa La Grange, a sublime mansion set in a 30-hectare (75-acre) park overlooking Lake Geneva, will probably be serene.

The summit perimeter was, nevertheless beneath heavy police guard.

LOCKDOWN

After the bilateral assembly, Biden and Putin had been because of lead discussions together with their broader delegations, amongst them U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian International Minister Sergei Lavrov, together with interpreters.

Arms management is one area the place progress has traditionally been attainable regardless of wider disagreements.

In February, Russia and the US prolonged for 5 years the New START treaty, which caps the variety of strategic nuclear warheads they will deploy and limits the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to ship them.

The senior U.S. official mentioned Biden would additionally outline areas of important nationwide curiosity the place Russian misconduct would deliver a response. Biden signed an govt order in April giving Washington broad latitude to impose sanctions on Moscow.

In an indication of the pressure in ties, the talks won’t embody any meals, and Putin and Biden are anticipated to carry separate information conferences slightly than a joint one.

“No breaking of bread,” mentioned the senior U.S. official.

Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat, informed Reuters Putin needed Russia to be handled with respect, as members of the Soviet Politburo had been within the Nineteen Sixties-Eighties, with “a symbolic recognition of Russia’s geopolitical parity with the U.S.”.

“In trade, they (Moscow) could be keen to chop again on a number of the loony stuff,” Frolov mentioned. This would possibly imply “no poisonings, no bodily violence, no arrests/kidnappings of U.S. and Russian nationals; no interference in home politics”.

Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Heart suppose tank, set the bar for Wednesday’s talks low.

“The principal takeaway, within the constructive sense, from the Geneva assembly could be ensuring that the US and Russia didn’t come to blows bodily, so {that a} navy collision is averted,” he mentioned.

In distinction to Trump, whose 2018 summit with Putin in Helsinki included a gathering accompanied solely by interpreters, Biden and Putin are usually not anticipated to have any solo dealings.

Standing beside Putin in Helsinki, Trump refused in charge him for meddling within the 2016 U.S. election, casting doubt on the findings of his personal intelligence companies and sparking a storm of home criticism.





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