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What Biden and Putin are hoping to get out of their face-to-face meeting in Switzerland

Biden and Putin goals for Wednesday meeting in Geneva

6/16/2021 5:22:00 AM

Biden and Putin goals for Wednesday meeting in Geneva

Putin has described Ukraine 's bid to join NATO as an existential challenge to Russia : ‘Isn't it a red line?’

But beyond that, it’s not clear what will happen Wednesday in Geneva when President Joe Biden meets Putin for the first time since taking office. Both sides acknowledge that the relationship between the two nations is dismal and neither holds out much hope for meaningful areas of agreement. Still, each man brings his own goals to the summit table.

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Below is a look at what each president is hoping to achieve in Switzerland.What Biden wants: Biden and his aides have made clear that he will not follow in the footsteps of his recent predecessors by aiming to radically alter the United States’ ties to Russia. Instead, the White House is looking for a more modest though still vitally important goal: to move toward a more predictable relationship and attempt to rein in Russia’s disruptive behavior.

Biden’s first overseas trip was deliberately sequenced so that he will meet with Putin only after spending days meeting with European allies and powerful democracies, including a gathering at NATO, the decades-old alliance formed to serve as a bulwark to Russian aggression. He hoped to project a sense of unity and renewed cooperation after four years of tumult under former President Donald Trump, who often tried to cozy up to the Russian president.

See: Biden rallies NATO allies ahead of Wednesday’s tête-à-tête in Switzerland with Russia’s PutinBiden will push Putin to stop meddling in democratic elections, to ease tensions with Ukraine and to stop giving safe harbor to hackers carrying out cyber and ransomware attacks. Aides believe that lowering the temperature with Russia will also reinforce the United States’ ties to democracies existing in Moscow’s shadow.

National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden will look for “areas where, in our common interest, we can work together to produce outcomes that are — that work for the United States and for the American people.”Sullivan, who briefed reporters on Air Force One heading to Brussels for the NATO summit, said that Biden’s other message would be more stick than carrot: “How do we send a clear message about those harmful activities that we will not tolerate and to which we will respond?”

There have been brief moments of common ground. Moscow and Washington have shown a shared interest in restarting talks on strategic stability to work out a follow-up deal to the New START, the last remaining U.S.-Russian arms control pact that was extended for five years in January.

Biden will exhort Putin on human rights, including the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, not to support the regime in Belarus that carried out a recent skyjacking and to stop interfering with other nations’ elections.Cyber will also be a focal point, with the Geneva summit coming just days after NATO expanded its Article 5 mutual defense pact to include cyberattacks.

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But the president acknowledged that there may be no way to keep Putin in check.“There’s no guarantee you can change a person’s behavior or the behavior of his country. Autocrats have enormous power and they don’t have to answer to a public,” said Biden during a news conference Sunday after the Group of Seven summit in England. “And the fact is that it may very well be, if I respond in kind — which I will — that it doesn’t dissuade him and he wants to keep going.”

Biden had not minced words when it comes to assessing Putin. He said in an interview earlier this year that he agreed with an assessment that Putin was a “killer,” and he once declared that Putin didn’t have a soul.That was far colder rhetoric than that of his immediate predecessors.

Trump spoke warmly of Putin and was deferential to him during their one summit, held in Helsinki in 2018, in which he turned his back on his own intelligence agencies.Capitol Report (July 2018): ‘Shameful,’ ‘disturbing,’ and an ’embarrassment’ — Congress reacts to Trump’s press conference with Putin

President Barack Obama’s administration, though wary of Putin, expressed hope in a “reset” and improvement of relations with Moscow.And George W. Bush said that he “looked the man in the eye” and “found him very straightforward and trustworthy.”“I was able to get a sense of his soul,” Bush said.

Biden won’t — and, in fact, is reported to have accused Putin in the past of lacking a soul, with Putin responding that the pair understood one another.What Putin wants: Putin also won’t be expecting to warm up ties. His main goal will be to draw his red lines for the new U.S. administration and negotiate a tense status quo that would protect Moscow’s vital interests.

The Russian leader doesn’t hope for a new détente to mend the rift caused by Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Nor does he count on a rollback of the crippling U.S. and EU sanctions that have restricted Moscow’s access to global financial markets and top Western technologies.

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Putin’s task now is more modest — to spell out Russia’s top security concerns and try to restore basic channels of communication that would prevent an even more dangerous destabilization.The main red line for Moscow is Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO. Fearing its bid for the alliance membership, Putin responded to the 2014 ouster of Ukraine’s Russia-friendly president by annexing Crimea and throwing Moscow’s weight behind a separatist insurgency in the country’s eastern industrial heartland, where the seven-year conflict has killed more than 14,000.

News Pulse (May 2014): Putin claims Yanukovych remains Ukraine’s legitimate presidentWhen tensions along the line of contact in Ukraine’s east rose earlier this year, Russia quickly beefed up its troops near Ukraine and warned Kyiv’s leaders that it would intervene militarily if they tried to reclaim the rebel-controlled regions by force.

Moscow has since pulled back some of its forces from the border areas, but the Ukrainian leadership has said the bulk of them have remained close to the border.In an interview with state TV last week, Putin described Ukraine’s bid to join NATO as an existential challenge to Russia that would allow the alliance’s missiles to hit Moscow and other targets in western Russia in just seven minutes. He compared it to Russia deploying its missiles in Canada or Mexico near the U.S. border. “Isn’t it a red line?” he asked.

While taking a tough stance on Ukraine, the Russian leader could show a degree of flexibility on other global hotspots.Even though Moscow has been critical of the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan, it’s interested in a settlement that would prevent the country from plunging into chaos following the U.S. troops’ withdrawal later this year, fearing that instability could spill into ex-Soviet Central Asia.

Russia also has been involved in painstaking international talks to help repair a nuclear deal with Iran that was spiked by Trump, and it has expressed a willingness to cooperate with the U.S. in efforts to restart the stalled Mideast peace talks.And the Kremlin would be interested in working out a deal on Syria, where Moscow’s military campaign helped President Bashar Assad’s government reclaim control over most of the country after a devastating civil war and the U.S. has maintained a limited military presence.

Russia has said it’s ready to include its prospective doomsday weapons — such as the Poseidon atomic-powered, nuclear-armed underwater drone and the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile — in the talks on condition the U.S. brings its missile defense and possible space-based weapons into the equation.

Putin also has emphasized Russia’s readiness to make joint efforts to address climate change and cope with the coronavirus pandemic.He called for establishing a dialogue on cybercrime, noting that Moscow could agree to extradite cybercrime suspects to the U.S. if Washington assumes the same obligation.

The White House has strongly downplayed the idea of a cybercriminal prisoner exchange. Read more: MarketWatch »

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Whats to the US disadvantage is that he will be there(hopefully for them) for the next 15 years and will see an approx of 4 different presidents all with different set of strategies. Putin will be rolling his eyes listening to half coherent sentences

Biden-Putin summit live updates: 'I'm always ready,' Biden saysThe White House has called on experts to help Pres. Biden prep for his meeting with Putin—including Fiona Hill, a top Russia expert and former Trump administration official. Read more: OH GOD...Here they go again calling in those frickin SO-CALLED”EXPERTS..!! 🎯 I want to buy insurance for Biden, can the beneficiary is me?

Control de armas podría complicar cumbre Biden-PutinLas relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Rusia se encuentran en uno de sus peores momentos, pero el presidente estadounidense Joe Biden y su contraparte ruso Vladimir Putin están de acuerdo en por lo menos un tema: su encuentro cara a cara este miércoles es una oportunidad para iniciar una nueva era… Really the U.S. telling Russia & China how to take care of of their countries and U.S. shootings are out of control REALLY

Putin dismisses criticism of hacking and internal crackdowns ahead of Biden summitExclusive: President Putin says he can't guarantee that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny will come out of jail alive and dismisses allegations that Russia n hackers were behind recent cyberattacks. - KeirSimmons KeirSimmons I see absolutely no purpose in giving this monster a platform, unless you want to give his reputation a boost to give trump’s love for him some legitimacy KeirSimmons So nice of you to give PUTIN a platform, as if YOU are negotiating,for a prisoner swap, BEFORE he meets with OUR countrys president.. Putin knows what crack, to feed the media, that’s for sure KeirSimmons Sure

Biden, unlike predecessors, has maintained Putin skepticismPresident Joe Biden frequently talks about what he sees as central in executing effective foreign policy: building personal relationships. The American president, who is set to meet with Putin face to face on Wednesday in Geneva , is mindful of Putin’s ability to survive even as his country has diminished as a world economic power. Biden has repeated an anecdote about his last meeting with Putin, 10 years ago when he was vice president and Putin was serving as prime minister. A Sounds the same as in dealing with GQP authoritarian Kleptocrats!

Biden calls Putin 'worthy adversary' ahead of summitPresident Joe Biden declined to condemn Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin or detail anticipated goals ahead of the summit between the two leaders in Geneva later this week. Did he make up a nickname?

Biden offers some flattery to Putin ahead of high-profile meetingPresident Biden had a few words of flattery for Russia n President Vladimir Putin today, calling him “bright,' “tough” and “a worthy adversary,” just days before the two are set to meet face-to-face in Switzerland WaIt…I miss something? He’s no longer a “killer”? I guess u should be nice to someone kinda next door to try and make things work. That level of cooperation seems to be working with GOP numb nuts so let’s go GLOBAL with the concept. WAKE UP- he wants “USSR” again. And US GONE. Biden is no no novice n the international theater. Unlike trump he's not swayed by flattery. Putin s main goal is 2 do away w/the sanctions which affect his rich oligarch allies who r crying bcause their income & assets & lifestyles have been impacted by these sanctions.1/2 Biden is a huge Russia guy