On June 16, a meeting between the presidents of the United States and Russia, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, starts in Geneva.
The previous Russia-US summit was held in 2018 in Helsinki.
The talks will consist of several parts, Yuri Ushakov, aide to the Russian leader, told reporters.
“The first is a conversation in a narrow format, then negotiations in an expanded format, which will continue: a narrow composition, an expanded composition.
Then a short break for tea and coffee, and then the negotiations continue, ”Ushakov said.
Villa La Grange in Geneva
© REUTERS / Denis Balibouse
The talks will last about four to five hours with breaks, said the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov.
The event will take place at the Villa La Grange.
After the talks, two press conferences are planned - Putin and Biden will separately answer journalists' questions.
The first to announce this format was in the White House.
According to the American administration, separate press conferences will allow the leaders to convey the results of the summit both on topics where cooperation between the parties is possible and on issues about which "there are serious reasons for concern."
Later, the Kremlin confirmed that the presidents will communicate with the press separately.
Commenting on the decision to abandon the joint press conference, Joe Biden said that this is not a "competition" between the leaders.
“I have always believed (and I’m not saying that the press should not know this): this is not a competition to see who will do better at a press conference to embarrass the other - the point is that I want to be very clear about the conditions to improve relations with Russia, ”the US President emphasized.
Pavel Feldman, Deputy Director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts of the RUDN University, believes that the division of press conferences is the right decision in this situation
because some journalists, in pursuit of sensational comments, ask inappropriate questions
According to the expert, communication with the press is a tertiary issue for both leaders in the current situation.
“The main thing now is that the presidents of the United States and Russia have entered into a direct dialogue after a long pause and against the background of serious tension in the world.
If they agree on some specifics, then we will find out about this from the further steps of both countries, "Feldman said in an interview with RT.
As the Kremlin press service clarified earlier, the key topics of the high-level talks will be the prospects for the development of bilateral relations, strategic stability and "topical issues on the international agenda."
Washington also announced the plans of the American side to discuss strategic stability issues with Moscow.
As noted by the press secretary of the White House Jen Psaki, the presidents "will discuss the full range of pressing issues."
In addition, the American delegation intends to raise in Geneva issues related to the state of affairs in Belarus and Ukraine, as well as the state of Iran's nuclear program.
On the eve of the meeting, both presidents also told reporters about their expectations from the summit.
Vladimir Putin in an interview with journalist Pavel Zarubin on the Moscow.
Putin "noted that the parties should first of all restore contacts.
“To restore our personal contacts, relations, establish direct dialogue, create really functioning mechanisms of interaction in those areas that represent mutual interests,” the president said.
Vladimir Putin recalled issues of mutual interest for Moscow and Washington.
We are talking, in particular, about strategic stability, solving regional conflicts and taking care of the environment on a global scale.
© REUTERS / Denis Balibouse
“If after this meeting we create mechanisms for working in all these areas, I think it would be good.
One could say that the meeting was not in vain, ”the Russian leader said.
At the same time, Putin noted that the decrease in the degree of negative rhetoric on the eve of the summit on the part of Washington is simply a manifestation of a "professional approach."
Both sides are trying to reduce tensions for the sake of a favorable atmosphere.
At the same time, the accusations in the United States, according to which the Russian authorities are allegedly behind the cyber attacks on American facilities, Vladimir Putin called a farce.
He stated this in an interview with NBC.
“We were accused of many things.
Electoral interference, cyberattacks, and so on.
And not once did they bother to provide any evidence or evidence.
Simply unfounded accusations, ”Putin said.
At the same time, because of the scandalous words addressed to him earlier by Joe Biden, the Russian leader is not worried.
We are talking about an episode when Biden answered in the affirmative to a journalist's question about whether he considers his Russian colleague a “killer”.
Note that on the eve of the Geneva summit, journalists again turned to Biden with a question whether he still adheres to the opinion about the Russian leader expressed in March.
This time the head of the White House gave an evasive answer.
“My answer is: I believe that in the past he actually admitted that there are certain things that he did or would do.
Listen, when I was asked this question on the air, I answered it honestly.
But I don't think it matters that much for the upcoming meeting, ”Biden said.
Despite some softening of public rhetoric ahead of talks with his Russian counterpart, the head of the White House continues to assert that Russia allegedly tried to interfere in the American elections, and was also involved in cyberattacks in the United States.
“When I ran and when I was elected, before the inauguration, I told him (Vladimir Putin. -
) that I would find out if he tried to interfere in our elections, figure out if he participated in a committed cybersecurity violation, and so on;
and in that case, there would be a reaction on my part.
So I did.
I checked that I had access to all intelligence information.
He was involved in these actions.
I reacted and made it clear that I will do this again, ”Biden said.
© REUTERS / Kacper Pempel / Illustration
Biden also answered the question whether the United States can extradite cybercriminals who have committed attacks on Russian territory to Russia.
“If crimes have been committed against Russia, and the people who committed them are hiding in the United States, I aim to bring them to justice,” he said.
We will remind, earlier, Vladimir Putin said that Russia is ready to extradite cybercriminals to Washington, if appropriate agreements are concluded.
The head of the Russian state said this in an interview with the “Moscow.
As for the accusations against Moscow, the Russian leader denied them in an interview with NBC.
Vladimir Putin noted that the American side has not yet provided evidence of Russia's interference in the internal affairs of the United States and involvement in cyber attacks.
At the same time, according to Biden, the American side does not seek a conflict with Russia.
“We strive to find a solution with regard to those actions that we consider to be inconsistent with international norms - this is firstly.
Secondly, where we can work together, it is possible within the framework of some strategic doctrine on which we can work together;
we are ready for this.
Perhaps in other areas as well.
Even the prospect of cooperation on climate is being discussed, ”said the head of the White House.
Among possible areas of cooperation, he named work on the Libyan problem, where the United States and Russia can provide corridors for providing vital assistance to the population.
© REUTERS / Ashley L. Conti
Experts believe that another important topic of discussion will be the situation in Syria, where the forces of both countries are present.
“Russia is waiting for the United States to stop destabilizing the situation in the SAR, to come to terms with the legitimacy of President Bashar al-Assad.
In Libya, Russia expects the United States to assist in the settlement of the conflict, ”said Pavel Feldman.
Alexander Asafov is less optimistic.
"I do not expect that Russia and the United States will be able to agree on the issues of Syria and Libya, since the parties adhere to too different positions," he said in a conversation with RT.
According to experts, one of the main topics of the upcoming talks will be issues of strategic stability.
Recall that on June 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law denouncing the Open Skies Treaty (OON).
The collapse of the agreement occurred at the initiative of Washington.
The US withdrawal from the treaty in May 2020 was announced by Biden's predecessor as president of the United States, Donald Trump.
However, the new administration of the White House did not try to return to the agreement.
A similar fate had previously befell the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty).
The United States unilaterally left the treaty on August 2, 2019.
An agreement concluded between Moscow and Washington in 1987 prohibited the parties from producing and deploying ground-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5.5 thousand km.
Intercontinental ballistic missile launch
© US Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ronald Gutridge
Another strategic treaty - START III - has also been threatened through the fault of the Trump administration.
The agreement obliged the United States and Russia to reduce the number of carriers of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and warheads.
The contract expired in early 2021, but Washington stubbornly refused to roll it over.
The American side demanded that the restrictions also apply to China.
However, the new American administration nevertheless agreed to extend the bilateral agreement; the exchange of relevant notes between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the American Embassy took place in February 2021.
According to Pavel Feldman, the upcoming summit will focus on returning to the torn military-strategic agreements.
“Given the fact that Russia and the United States are the largest nuclear powers, this could make the global security architecture sustainable, make the future of all mankind more predictable.
In this regard, a return to the INF Treaty in this case would be a good, serious regulatory step towards restoring, if not trust and cooperation between countries, then to cold, pragmatic and predictable relations, ”the expert emphasized.
A matter of priorities
Experts also note that Putin and Biden will not limit themselves to discussing Syrian and Libyan issues in the block dedicated to international issues.
“The American side has announced a very broad, redundant agenda, but in fact, if the issues of relations with China, North Korea and the Iranian nuclear deal are raised, it will only be tangential.
The main topics are Ukraine, Nord Stream 2, issues of Russian-American relations, "Alexander Asafov believes.
Recall that information about the upcoming meeting between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden caused a real stir in Kiev.
Thus, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that the Ukrainian side would not allow the conclusion of any agreements regarding Ukraine behind its back.
© REUTERS / Gleb Garanich
As the deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics of the Moscow State Pedagogical University Vladimir Shapovalov noted in a commentary to RT, the fears of the Ukrainian leadership are well founded.
“It is unlikely that Ukraine will become the central topic of these negotiations,” the expert said.
Pavel Feldman adheres to a similar point of view.
According to him, Ukraine is clearly not in the first place in the list of future topics.
“It is possible that Kiev’s anxiety is connected with the fact that the Ukrainian side began to feel a loss of interest in itself from Washington.
For the United States, it is now much more interesting, for example, the topic of relations with China.
It is possible that Joe Biden will try to urge Putin to join the anti-China campaign launched by the United States.
However, even if such a proposal is voiced, it is unprofitable for Russia: Moscow will not sacrifice its relations with the Celestial Empire, ”the expert said.
Experts agree that no immediate results should be expected from the summit, since too many contradictions have accumulated between the United States and Russia.
“One should not expect any bright gestures, although the leaders will discuss the most pressing issues.
However, some local decisions can still be made, ”says Alexander Asafov.
According to Vladimir Shapovalov, the very fact of dialogue between the countries after a long break will be the maximum result.
“If the leaders are able to identify their positions and agree on the continuation of communication, this will already be a good result,” the expert summed up.