Biden and Putin to hold summit in Switzerland on June 16

The summit will be held at the end of a broader Biden visit to Europe and after he has met with America‘s allies in NATO and the European Union

USA and Russian flag
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a long-anticipated summit in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16. File picture: Alexander Lesnitsky/Pixabay

PRETORIA, May 25 (ANA) – US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to hold a summit in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16, Al Jazeera has reported on Tuesday.

This will be the first meeting between the two leaders since Biden became president in January.

“The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the US-Russia relationship,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki was quoted saying.

Meanwhile, the broadcaster cited the Kremlin saying the two leaders will discuss strategic nuclear stability and bilateral ties between the two nations.

Biden has previously said he wants Putin to stop trying to influence US elections, stop cyber attacks on US networks emanating from Russia, stop threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty and release jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, writes Al Jazeera.

Politico said the gathering is more of a chance for the two world leaders to be able to directly air grievances and see what common ground they may have going forward.

The US-based publication adds that the Kremlin is a bit cautious about whether Putin will even show up, however Russian media has quoted foreign minister Sergey Lavrov indicating that the Russian leader is inclined to agree to Biden’s invitation.

“In the most general terms I can say that, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed more than once, we are prepared to consider and address any issues on the bilateral agenda and also to work together on settling regional problems and regional conflicts and crises,” Lavrov is quoted as saying.

Anadolu Agency indicated that the summit comes amid mounting problems between the two countries, including a sweeping cyber attack the US blames on Russia that compromised government and corporate networks.

In response to the hack, the US imposed sanctions on Russia and expelled its diplomats and has repeatedly criticized Moscow for its jailing of opposition leader Navalny, the Turkey news agency wrote.

Navalny was arrested in January upon returning from Germany after recovering from a poisoning attack he says was orchestrated by the Kremlin. Moscow has denied any involvement.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay

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