Biden-Putin Geneva meeting: White House defends stunted summit as US president sorry for snapping at reporter

·1 min read
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP)
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP)

US president Joe Biden and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin shook hands after arriving for arrived for a crucial summit in Geneva on Wednesday. Mr Biden said it was “always better to meet face to face”, while Mr Putin said he hoped for a “productive” meeting.

Nuclear stability, cybersecurity and possible prisoner exchanges were on the agenda for the summit, with both sides playing down expectations about how much is likely to be agreed.

The Russian side said the imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny is one area where Mr Putin wouldn’t engage.

Mr Biden has previously called Mr Putin a “killer” and an “autocrat”. But in a softening of the rhetoric in the run-up to the summit, he described his Russian counterpart as “a worthy adversary”.

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