Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with NBC News journalist Keir Simmons in Moscow on June 11, 2021, during an exclusive interview prior to a meeting with the US President.
Maxim Blinov | AFP | fake images
One of the most anticipated political events of the year is about to begin when Russian President Vladimir Putin travels to Geneva on Wednesday morning for his summit with US President Joe Biden.
The summit will take place at Villa La Grange in the Swiss capital (chosen as the venue for the summit due to its history of political neutrality) and is expected to last up to five hours.
The summit includes an initial meeting between the presidents and their closest officials, and then talks between the broader Russian and US delegations will be followed by separate press conferences with the two leaders.
Putin is expected to arrive at the summit site first, around noon UK time, senior White House officials said on Tuesday, followed by Biden and both leaders were greeted by Swiss President Guy Parmelin.
A distant view of Villa La Grange scheduled to host the June 16 meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden as part of the US-Russia summit.
Mikhail Metzel | TASS | fake images
The summit will begin with a first meeting between Biden and Putin accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as translators, White House officials said.
After this initial meeting, a larger delegation will meet for several sessions before the two leaders hold separate press conferences; Putin is expected to give the first media update, followed by Biden. No time has been set aside for a meal during the summit, but breaks are expected for the leaders.
The Putin-Biden summit is being watched closely around the world, as relations between the United States and Russia remain tense following a series of geopolitical clashes and international sanctions in recent years.
US President Joe Biden disembarks from Airforce One after arriving in Geneva the day before the US-Russia summit.
Swimming pool | Getty Images News | fake images
Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 caused it to be suspended from the then Group of Eight and earned it international sanctions. Russia has since been charged with meddling in the 2016 US elections, two nerve agent attacks (in the UK in 2018 and allegedly against Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader and critic of Putin, in 2020), as well as participation in cyberattacks and human rights abuses.
Russia has always denied the multiple accusations made against it, saying that it is a victim of anti-Russian sentiment in the West.
The summit comes on the heels of a wave of American diplomacy with its allies in Europe and beyond. Biden visited the UK for the Group of Seven summit last weekend, then a NATO summit in Brussels on Monday, and then an EU-US summit. On Tuesday, which gave the US leader enough material to ponder for his meeting with Putin.
The presidents meeting agenda is expected to include “strategic stability,” climate change, as well as nuclear stability and cybersecurity, and potentially a variety of other topics, including the fate of Navalny, Ukraine, Belarus, and the prospects for imprisoned Russian and American citizens. in each other’s countries.
On Tuesday, a senior White House official said the Biden administration was “I don’t expect a great set of results from this meeting,” but three basic things.
“First, a clear set of tasks on areas in which to work together can advance our national interest and make the world safer. Second, a clear arrangement of America’s vital national interest areas, where Russian activities that go against those interests will be met with a response, “he said.
“And third, a clear explanation of the president’s vision of American values and our national priorities,” he said. The official added that, in terms of talking points with Putin, “for the US president, nothing is off the table.”
Given the antagonistic nature of the US-Russian relationship in recent years, analysts see little chance of “breakthrough” moments at the Geneva summit.
read more: Biden and Putin are about to have a high-stakes meeting – here’s what you need to know
People walk under Russian and American flags on a bridge in the city center before a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin June 15, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland .
Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | fake images
Still, the meeting is seen as an opportunity to calm relationships and introduce much-needed stability into affairs.
“This is an attempt to stabilize the situation,” Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Center for European Reform, told CNBC on Wednesday. “The motto of the Americans has been that they want predictability and stability in the relationship and it has been in a downward spiral, things have gotten worse.”
Still, Bond did not think a return to “business as usual” with Putin would be unlikely to change, particularly given internal pressures due to the Covid crisis and its impact on the Russian economy and living standards.
“It makes sense for him (Putin) to try to keep his adversaries off balance and guess what his next move will be,” Bond said. “The Americans will try to impose more framework on this relationship, but I’m not sure they will necessarily succeed.”