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President Biden and President Putin to meet

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President Biden and President Putin to meet

Biden Putin meeting geneva
Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/ AP

US President Joseph Biden will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin today in Geneva, marking their first meeting since Biden took office.

The summit comes as relations between Washington and Moscow are at a low point, primarily stemming from a series of Russia-based cyber-attacks on US infrastructure and businesses as well as Russia’s imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Expect Biden to use this meeting as an opportunity to rebuke Putin for Navalny’s imprisonment and to urge Moscow to take on the cyber-groups responsible for the attacks. US intelligence has been highly critical of Russia’s role in the attacks, and securing the safety of Russia’s top dissident is a top priority of the Biden administration.

Observers, however, do not expect any major announcements to emerge from this meeting, instead believing it is intended as an effort to stabilize deteriorating relations. President Biden’s decision not to hold a joint press conference following the summit—thus refusing to give Putin a platform—will likely be interpreted as a sign of disrespect by Moscow and has the potential to hamper attempts to mend the relationship before they can truly begin, though the decision alone is unlikely to cause a further worsening of relations.

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