On 16 June, U.S. President Joe Biden and President of Russia Vladimir Putin met in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of a bilateral summit.

The meeting was held behind closed doors and ended at about 17:05 local time. In total, it consisted of two 93-minute and 65-minute sessions with a 45-minute break.

At his press conference, Putin confirmed that he had discussed with President Biden the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine. And Biden once again reminded Putin that the United States supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity. He also confirmed that the American side was committed to the diplomatic way of resolving the conflict in Donbas.

During the talks, Biden also raised the issue of Ukraine’s accession to NATO. Instead, the Russian president believes that “there is nothing to discuss” regarding Ukraine’s joining NATO.

In addition, Putin and Biden managed to agree to reinstate ambassadors. In particular, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has been in Moscow since March 2021. In turn, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan was recalled to Washington for consultations in April.

Special attention was paid to the issue of cybersecurity. U.S. President Joe Biden gave Russian leader Vladimir Putin a list of 16 sectors that should not be the target of cyberattacks.

“We talked about nuclear arms control, we talked about cybersecurity. Certain critical infrastructure should be off-limits to attack. I gave them a list of 16 specific entities that should not be the target of attacks,” Biden said during a press conference.

He added that if the United States and Russia could not resolve cybersecurity issues, “it will be a problem.” He also noted that the United States had significant cyber capability and if Russia violates the basic norms, the United States will respond to these actions in cyberspace.

In addition, Biden said the United States would raise human rights issues and warned Putin about the consequences of Navalny’s death. “I told him clearly that these consequences would be devastating for Russia. You know, he justifies Navalny’s imprisonment while he is dying in prison,” he said.

After the meeting, the Kremlin issued a joint statement emphasising that the United States and Russia will launch a dialogue on strategic stability. The document also reaffirmed the commitment to the principle that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it should never be started.

Natalia Tolub

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