Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Geneva on Wednesday ahead of a summit with US President Joe Biden, Reuters TV footage showed, with the stage set for a tense first meeting between the two leaders since Biden took office in January.
“I hope our meeting will be productive,” Putin said, thanking the US leader for “this initiative to meet today”, while Biden said: “It is always better to meet face to face.”
Both sides have played down the prospect of any major breakthroughs at the summit, with wide disagreements likely, but have said they hope their talks in a stately lakeside Geneva villa can lead to more stable and predictable relations.
The two were first greeted by the Swiss president before sitting down for a small meeting that includes just Biden, Putin, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, with a translator for each side. They’ll then move to larger talks, which will include more senior aides and are expected to last hours.
JUST IN - Putin arrives in Geneva for talks with Biden today. pic.twitter.com/QtbFKtPfw2— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) June 16, 2021
Biden and Putin plan to discuss everything from cybercrime to Russia’s alleged interference in America’s elections, as well as arms control and Russia’s intrusion in Ukraine.
The two have stressed the need to restore more stable relations between the two nations.