American President Joe Biden said he made it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that cyber attacks on targets in the United States, as well as interference in American election campaigns, will have serious consequences for Russia.
Biden said that on Wednesday evening after about three hours of talks with Putin in Geneva.
The American President emphasized that a cybersecurity working group would be set up with experts from both countries.
First, a common understanding of what is unacceptable should be worked out.
Second, according to Biden, specific attacks are to be investigated which the two governments believe emanated from the territory of the other state.
Putin had previously held his own press conference and confirmed the planned talks on cybersecurity without giving any details.
In addition, both presidents announced the continuation of talks on nuclear weapons.
Biden emphasized that this "strategic dialogue" should also be about new weapon systems in order to reduce the risk of unintentional war.
"The last thing he wants is a cold war."
Making a passionate commitment to human rights and personal freedoms at his press conference, Biden said, "I told President Putin that we need basic traffic rules that we can all obey." The Russian President showed no interest in getting up to lay down such rules.
But Biden said of Putin: "The last thing he wants is a cold war."
Putin announced that the ambassadors of the United States and Russia would return to Moscow and Washington, respectively.
In March Moscow ordered its ambassador from Washington back for consultations.
In a television interview, Biden had previously answered yes to the question of whether he considered Putin a "killer".
A little later, the American ambassador in Moscow was asked by the Kremlin to leave Russia.
Putin said he had "not found any hostility" in the conversation with Biden and his delegation. Biden was "balanced and constructive". The American president also spoke about his family, Putin said. This shows the "quality of his moral values," added the Russian President. “We spoke the same language.” Biden also praised the tone of the conversations as “good and positive”. Finally, the talks are no longer marked by exaggerations, said Biden, referring to his predecessor Donald Trump, whom he only mentioned once when he made a promise and said "President Trump" instead of "President Putin".
Putin made it clear that there could also be a reciprocal exchange of prisoners from Russian and American prisons. A solution is being worked on, said the Russian President, without naming any names.
As usual, Putin evaded questions about human rights violations in Russia by speaking at length about murders in the United States and civilian victims in American drone operations. When asked by an American reporter about the oppositionist Alexei Navalnyj, who survived a poison attack but was then imprisoned, Putin responded, for example, with lengthy explanations about the death of the African-American George Floyd, who was arrested in Minneapolis by a white policeman who had meanwhile been convicted of murder would have. Putin also said arrests served to prevent incidents in Moscow such as the January 6 assault on the Washington Capitol. Biden called this comparison "ridiculous".
Putin assured that Russia and the United States would live up to their responsibilities as the largest nuclear powers. He praised Biden's decision to extend the New START agreement that came into force in 2011 to reduce the number of operational strategic nuclear weapons. This means that both sides must keep the number of their nuclear warheads limited to a maximum of 1,550 and the number of nuclear delivery systems to 800 by 2026. Putin announced that both sides wanted to continue to discuss the progress of nuclear disarmament at ministerial level.
The Foreign Service of the European Union announced on Wednesday that it was preparing for a continued deterioration in relations with Russia. That is the most likely, it says in a paper that the EU foreign affairs representative Borrell presented in Brussels.