With US President Joe Biden affirming at the beginning of his summit in Geneva with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that "a direct meeting is always better", American commentators expected that there would be two summits between the two presidents, the first one from which traditional diplomatic statements for domestic and global consumption, and another summit whose dialogues and discussions remain A secret that only the team accompanying both presidents knows about.

Mark Galeotti, a security expert at the Royal Institute, said in an interview with the US National Radio, that we are in the process of two summits, a summit on non-conflicting issues between the two countries, and another summit in which the two leaders will speak in a frank, tough and undiplomatic language.

Public Summit Topics

President Biden believes that contradictory goals can be achieved in his policy towards Russia, on the one hand it can cooperate with it on issues of mutual interest, as was the case with the agreement to extend the New START nuclear arms treaty, while at the same time pledging to hold Putin accountable on other issues .

Hence, nuclear disarmament and working to reduce their nuclear arsenals are among the issues that the two presidents address in their press conferences and in their official statements.

Washington and Moscow know that without continuing to negotiate an agreement on reducing their arsenals, pressure on countries such as Iran and North Korea will fail.

Cooperation in the climate issue is also one of the issues that the two sides aspire to talk about openly and loudly.

Despite the decline in the level of diplomatic representation for both countries in the capital of the other party, it is expected that the two parties will talk about increasing the frequency of diplomatic and political meetings between the two countries to discuss the details of the issues discussed by Biden and Putin.

The Russian-American cooperation in the Arctic Ocean region and the preservation of its environmental characteristics are among the issues in which coordination and cooperation between the two countries has increased in recent years.

Intractable files hang over the summit of Putin (right) and Biden (Reuters)

Secret Discussion Files

Thorny files with contradictory goals that the two presidents are discussing, the details of which will not be made public, and among these issues are Biden’s violent talk about Russian interference in the American elections, the continuation of cyber attacks on American institutions and interests, and the ongoing disputes over Putin’s record on human rights issues, as well as what Moscow considers A blatant US interference in its internal affairs, against the background of its position on the arrest of the opposition Alexei Navalny, and the arrest of other opponents, in addition to the disappearance and death of some of them in mysterious circumstances.

Both sides have various papers and tools of pressure that are not directly addressed in public, and Russia has many papers on issues important to Washington, especially regarding the future of the conflict in Afghanistan, the future of Syria, as well as its military and economic relations with Iran.

Washington, for its part, has the weapon of financial and economic sanctions that strain the weak Russian economy, and since Biden came to power, Washington has imposed sanctions on a number of Russian officials, including 7 high-ranking security officials, accused of attempting to poison and imprison activist Alexei Navalny.

For its part, the Kremlin believes that the United States is working to dictate its desires to Russia with regard to human rights issues, and the nature of Moscow's relations with European capitals.

Moscow is also exploiting the tense US-Chinese relations to its advantage, and a Sino-Russian joint statement issued last March indicated the need to “consider the damage it has caused to global peace and development in recent years, to stop unilateral (bullying) and to stop interfering in The internal affairs of other countries, and to stop forming small circles in an effort to confront the bloc.”

Biden's red lines

In an interview two months ago with ABC News, Biden promised Russia to make it pay the price if it was proven to interfere in the last US elections, and firmly indicated that he and President Putin know each other well, and that the Russian president should prepare to pay the price. If proven to interfere in those elections.

Biden's hardening came after a US intelligence report confirmed previous accusations that the Russian president was behind Russia's interference in the US elections, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.

The report stated that Russian interference in the recent US elections was aimed at defeating the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, and boosting the fortunes of his Republican rival, Donald Trump.

Biden (left) and Putin both possess various cards and tools of pressure that are not publicly addressed (Al-Jazeera)

Putin files

President Putin does not show any indulgence on two main issues: Ukraine's desire to join NATO, and addressing human rights within Russia.

During a speech to the Russian nation a few weeks ago, President Putin stressed that "Russia will not allow anyone to cross the red lines that it sets itself," a sign that observers considered a threat to Ukraine's accession to NATO.

Over the course of several weeks, Moscow has mobilized tens of thousands of its soldiers near its border with Ukraine, and Washington has expressed fears of a military escalation, noting that Moscow may prepare a pretext to enter Ukraine, as happened in 2014 when it annexed the Crimea.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is pushing for his country's inclusion in NATO in the hope that a mutual defense pact between alliance countries, including the United States, will deter Russian aggression and force an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Russia strongly opposes Ukraine's aspirations to join NATO, describing the effort as a "red line" that would lead to war.