Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin sat down together for their first face-to-face bilateral talks in Geneva where the two leaders were seeking to mend US-Russia relations, which many analysts said have hit their lowest point since the Cold War.
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed at their first summit on Wednesday to resume arms control talks and to return ambassadors to each other’s capitals after they were withdrawn earlier this year.
The summit at the lakeside Villa La Grange in Geneva lasted less than four hours — far less than Biden’s advisers had said they expected.
The scheduling of separate news conferences meant there was none of the joviality that accompanied a 2018 meeting between Putin and Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump. There was also no joint meal.
Putin, 68, who was first to brief reporters, said the meeting had been constructive, without hostility, and had showed the leaders’ desire to understand each other.
He said it was “hard to say” if relations with the United States would improve, but that there was a “glimpse of hope” regarding mutual trust. There were no invitations to Washington or Moscow.
Biden, speaking shortly afterwards, said there was “no substitute for face-to-face dialogue”, and that he had told Putin his agenda was “not against Russia”, but “for the American people”.
Biden said that the US and Russia had agreed to cooperate and “advance our mutual interests”.
“The last thing Putin wants is a new Cold War,” Biden told assembled journalists, emphasising that discussions were “positive”.
He also said the discussions had spent a great deal of time on arms control and on cyber-attacks, where he had told Putin that “critical infrastructure should be off-limits”.
Source: France 24