Biden, Putin to meet in person in Switzerland next month

It will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two world leaders, amid the tense relations between the United States and Russia.


President Joe Biden will meet in person for the first time since taking office with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16, the White House announced on Tuesday.

The meeting comes as relations between the two countries have deteriorated amid growing tensions, including the recent formation of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border, the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, disruption of the 2016 and 2020 elections and SolarWinds burglary.

"Leaders will discuss all issues, as we seek to restore speculation and stability in American-Russian relations," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The recent actions of Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko, a Russian ally, are also likely to emerge from the summit. Lukashenko forced the airline to land in Belarus on Sunday to arrest an opposition journalist.

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Biden revealed earlier this month that he would once again discuss with Putin the latest ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which had shut down the country's largest gas pipeline and led to a gas southeast. The FBI said DarkSide ransomware, a Russian criminal group with the same name, was responsible for the attack.

Although Biden said the Russian government was not directly responsible for the incident, he said Putin "has a responsibility to deal with this."

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Biden has spoken on the phone twice with Putin since taking office. The White House was discussing the possibility of a meeting between the two church leaders. National security adviser Jake Sullivan met with his Russian counterpart on Monday to discuss the US-Russia summit, according to the White House.

We should have first reported that the leaders are likely to meet in Geneva in June.

Geneva has a long history of hosting official gatherings. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev met there in 1985 and part of Iran's nuclear deal talks in 2015 were also held there.

Biden is scheduled to attend the Group of Seven world leaders' conference in Cornwall, UK, from June 11-13, following the NATO summit on June 14 in Brussels, his first foreign trip as president. Biden will meet Putin following those talks.