The first summit between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin is expected to last more than four hours. Swiss media reported that the leaders would arrive at Villa La Grange on Lake Geneva by 1 p.m.
Swiss President Guy Parmelin receives Putin first, then Biden. After a brief meeting of the three heads of state, Biden and Putin met with their foreign ministers, Anthony Blinken and Sergey Lavrov. Then, the summit really begins, when Biden and Putin begin deliberations without their ministers.
American and Russian speakers estimate that the summit will last more than four hours. No lunch planned. Biden arrived in Geneva on Tuesday and was received by the Swiss vice president. Putin lands at the airport shortly before the summit and heads straight to the villa on the other side of town without an official reception. There will be no press conferences after that, but the two leaders are expected to explain maintenance separately.
The summit is being held at the initiative of the United States and aims to strengthen relations with Russia. The two countries have been at odds for some time over different issues. Putin recently said that Russian-American relations have hit rock bottom since Biden’s arrival.
In addition to the possible return of ambassadors, discussions in Geneva include alleged cyber attacks by Russia, prisoner exchanges, the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and the coronavirus pandemic. In the run-up to the summit, expectations were tempered by both sides. Biden, for example, has said he wants to prevent the relationship with Russia from deteriorating further. Human rights can be discussed, but according to Swiss media, some people, such as Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, will not be discussed. Dozens of people demonstrated near Lake Geneva on Tuesday evening for his release.
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