Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Confrontation, but not lunch, is on the menu of Wednesday’s Biden-Putin meeting in Geneva.

President Biden’s meeting on Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin will be tense and tightly choreographed, without a planned ‘breaking of the bread’ – it highlights a sharp departure from the pleasant, unwritten, unguarded interactions between Mr. Putin and President Donald J. Trump.

One of the main topics of the meeting in Geneva will be the future of the New Start Treaty, which limits the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed nuclear missiles each, according to a senior administrative official who informed reporters on the flight from Brussels.

Mr. Biden intends to kill Mr. Putin, whom he called a killer, is confronted with recent ransomware attacks on U.S. companies and government agencies, and he will demand that Moscow stop hosting criminal burglary groups on Russian soil. He will also set out answers if the state-directed or private hacks from Russia continue, the official said.

Mr. Biden is also likely to raise the arrest of Alexei A. Navalny, the ill-fated opposition leader.

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“Nothing is off the table,” said the official, who warned that the White House “does not expect a large set of deliveries” from the meeting.

It will not have a lack of time. The meeting, which takes place in Villa La Grange, a sprawling 18th-century castle on the shores of Lake Geneva, is expected to last four or five hours and perhaps longer.

The meeting on Wednesday is expected to start at 13:00 local time with both men greeting President Guy Parmelin of Switzerland, followed by a smaller meeting between Mr. Biden, mr. Putin, Foreign Minister Antony J. Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergey V. Lavrov with translators.

The group then expands to include other caregivers, although the size and duration of the session will be determined by events. Reporters and photographers will be allowed at the top of the meeting, and then introduced when the principals do business.

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No meals are planned, so no bread will be broken, the official said.

Biden’s detailed itinerary – or even the existence of a detailed public schedule – points to a contrast to Trump’s unwritten talks with Mr. Putin, who included a lengthy conversation with the Russian leader in Hamburg in 2017 that was not disclosed. until after the fact.

On Monday, Mr. Biden gave a sober tone for the meeting and Mr. Putin warned that the death of Mr. Navalny, one of the Russian president’s most outspoken opponents, would hamper Russia’s already strained relations with world leaders.

“Navalny’s death would be another indication that Russia has little or no intention of complying with basic fundamental human rights,” he said. Biden said at a news conference after the NATO summit.

“It would be a tragedy,” he added. “It will do nothing but harm his relations with the rest of the world in my opinion and with me.”

Nation World News Desk
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