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Russia’s Putin says wants to find ways with Biden to improve US ties

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday he is hoping to improve deeply damaged ties with the United States when he holds his first summit with US counterpart Joe Biden later this month.

The face-to-face meeting in Geneva on June 16 comes amid the biggest crisis in ties between the two countries in years, with tensions high over a litany of issues including hacking allegations, human rights and election meddling.

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“We need to find ways to regularize these relations,” Putin told the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, adding that bilateral ties are currently at a “low level.”

“We will talk about strategic stability, about the settlement of international conflicts,” Putin said, noting that disarmament, the coronavirus pandemic and environmental issues will also be on the agenda.

“We have no disagreements with the United States,” Putin said.

“They only have one disagreement: they want to hold back our development, they talk about it publicly.”

Both Russia and the United States have downplayed expectations of any breakthrough.

Since taking office in January, Biden has imposed new sanctions against Moscow over what US authorities say was Russia’s role in the massive SolarWinds cyber-attack and meddling in the 2020 presidential election.

Washington has also harshly criticized Moscow for the near-death poisoning and subsequent imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.