The summit between Russian President Putin and US President Biden began in Geneva. Swiss President Parmelin received the two world leaders at a villa on Lake Geneva. He wished the two men success in their conversation. Putin and Biden did not make any prior statement, but shook hands.
It is not clear how long the two men will talk to each other. According to the Americans, the conversation can last from 4 to 5 hours. Both camps said up front that no pioneer agreements should be expected.
Relationship at rock bottom
However, the summit has been eyed for months, due to poor relations between the two countries. Biden accuses the Russians of launching major cyberattacks on American (government) companies and institutions and blames Moscow for attempts to undermine American democracy. Putin, in turn, believes that Americans should not lecture him about democracy, citing the storming of the Capitol in January.
Either way it will not be a friendly conversation Russia correspondent Iris de Graf thought. “No one expects them to forgive each other.” US reporter Lucas Wagmeister says Biden says he’s not out for fray. “But he is ready to respond. The goal is not to change Russia, but to reach a predictable relationship.”
Newsur reconstructed the course of the Russian-American relationship under Putin:
“Pop culture enthusiast. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Analyst. Student. Explorer.”