The first official meeting between Biden and Putin took place: key points and quotes
On June 16, Geneva hosted a meeting between US and Russian Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. The talks ended at about five pm local time and took less time than expected. Initially, it was said that the summit had five hours. A White House spokesman said the meeting took place without a scheduled break, writes Air force.
This is the first face-to-face meeting of the presidents of Russia and the United States since the election of Joe Biden. Prior to that, Putin met with Donald Trump in Helsinki in 2018.
Neither the United States, nor Russia, nor Europe expected any breakthroughs from today's meeting.
The Russian leadership, headed by Putin, has for many years been building its foreign policy on the confrontation with the collective West in general and the United States in particular.
Joe Biden, unlike Donald Trump, is a consistent critic of Russian politics, which he confirmed several times in the very last days before his meeting with Putin.
Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden have met before, but then they were not both presidents. This was in 2011, when Biden was Obama's vice president and Putin was prime minister.
At the beginning of the summit, the presidents talked face to face for two hours, after which a break was announced before the meeting of the full delegations.
As Joe Biden himself and members of his administration said before the meeting, the US President intends to talk with Putin, in particular, about arms control, as well as about the main sore topics in Russia's relations with the United States and the West: about Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, about the persecution opposition and specifically Alexei Navalny, about hacker attacks, traces of which lead to Russia and its state institutions.
In Moscow, before the meeting, they said that its topics would be extremely broad - from "strategic stability" through the fight against climate change to the situation in Syria, Afghanistan and Nagorno-Karabakh.
The negotiations took place at the Villa La Grange in Geneva. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, Secretary General of the CPSU Central Committee, and US President Ronald Reagan met there.
The broadcast from the room where the meeting between Biden and Putin took place was short. The journalists were escorted out by the guards. The presidents managed to exchange a few words: Putin thanked Biden for the initiative to hold the meeting and hoped that it would be productive. Biden replied that meeting face to face is always good, writes Liga.net.
US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin just took their first photo and shook hands before holding their meeting Wednesday at a high-stakes summit in Geneva https://t.co/QQ0eWcpjOp pic.twitter.com/zKUnnAd01A
- CNN (@CNN) June 16, 2021
Biden arrived at the villa in what is commonly called the Beast. It is equipped with tear gas grenades, night vision cameras and a built-in satellite phone. The passenger compartment is sealed and the tires are reinforced - this allows the car to move even with flat tires. with the BBC.
A PBS journalist wrote on Twitter that Biden allegedly nodded in the affirmative when asked if Putin could be trusted. The White House has already stated that this is not true. There write: "Biden did not answer any of the questions, but nodded in acknowledgment of the press in general." The room was "chaos" as "reporters shouted over each other."
There will be no joint press conference of the presidents today. Biden considers the option of separate press conferences to be “optimal”. He will allow the press to tell about all the topics of the meeting. Wherein CNN writes that the Russian Federation insisted on a joint format.
Biden at the meeting in a wide composition is accompanied by Blinken, National Security Adviser Sullivan, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nuland, US Ambassador to Russia Sullivan and National Security Council experts Green and Kaloudis. Putin is accompanied by Lavrov, foreign policy adviser Ushakov, deputy foreign minister Ryabkov, first deputy defense minister Gerasimov, Russian ambassador to the United States Antonov, as well as deputy head of the presidential administration Kozak and press secretary Peskov, writes ABC.
Journalist with the BBC Steve Rosenberg noted that Putin, who is known for being late, showed up in Geneva on time, which underscores the importance of the meeting for him: “This meeting puts Putin in the geopolitical center of attention. This is an opportunity to portray Russia as a great power equal to America. But behind closed doors, this could very well be an awkward conversation for Putin. Washington accused Moscow of "malicious actions" and a threat to US national security. "
Journalists also noticed that during the meeting Joe Biden used cards with notes, in social networks they were called “didactic cards” and “cheat sheets”.
Biden brought his flashcards into his meeting with Putin. pic.twitter.com/vrAUrpdmaX
- Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 16, 2021
According to Rossiya24 journalists, Russian journalists were not accredited to Biden's press conference.
Putin's press conference
At a press conference after meeting with Biden, Putin said that they had agreed on the mutual return of ambassadors.
The President of the Russian Federation said that the topic of Ukraine was “touched upon,” but not in great detail.
“As far as I understand President Biden, he agrees that the Minsk agreements should be at the heart of the settlement in southeastern Ukraine.”
The topic of Ukraine's accession to NATO - “this topic was touched upon with a smear, there is perhaps nothing to discuss here,” Putin said.
Putin gave a general assessment of the meeting: “I believe that there was no hostility, the meeting was held in a principled manner. Our assessments differ on many points, but in my opinion, both sides showed a desire to understand each other. The conversation was very constructive. ”
“We have only one obligation - to promote the implementation of the Minsk agreements,” Putin said.
He spoke about a new Ukrainian project for resolving the situation in Donbass, which, in his opinion, contradicts the Minsk agreements, since the first step allegedly suggests returning Ukrainian troops to their places of permanent deployment, then closing the Ukrainian-Russian border and holding elections in three months.
“What additional obligations can Russia undertake? I think the answer is clear, ”Putin said.
Putin commented on Biden's statement about "Putin is a killer."
“Regarding the harsh statements ... After that Biden called me, we explained. These explanations suited me. He invited us to meet. We met, ”Putin said.
He noted that he and Biden spoke for two hours, "which does not happen with every leader."
Putin went on to say that “someone is being killed on the streets of American cities every day,” he recalled civilian casualties in Afghanistan, “drone shootings of apparently civilians in Iraq,” Guantanamo.
“Who is responsible for this? … Are these human rights? ” - he asked.
When asked whether it was possible to reach a new level of mutual understanding and trust, Putin replied with a quote from Leo Tolstoy: “There is no happiness in life, there is only its lightning. Cherish them ”. In such a situation, there can be no family trust, but it seems to me that its lightning flashed, ”Putin said.
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“Andrei, give in to the girl, she will light it right now,” Putin asked to hand over the microphone to the black journalist. The journalist asked Putin if he had been invited to the White House and his impressions of Biden as a person. Putin replied that Biden did not invite him to visit, and he himself has not yet made such an invitation, since "conditions must be ripe for such visits."
Putin called Biden a very constructive and balanced person - "very experienced, you can see it right away."
“He remembered his family, which my mother talked to him about ... These are such important things. They do not seem to be directly related to the case, but nevertheless ... shows the quality of his moral values. This is all quite attractive, ”said the President of the Russian Federation.
Putin said that it seemed to him that he and Biden "generally spoke the same language."
“But this does not mean that we should look into each other's souls, eyes, and swear in eternal love and friendship. Not at all. We protect the interests of our countries and peoples. And these relations are always primarily of a pragmatic nature, ”Putin said.
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