Putin and Biden cite gains despite issues like cyberattacks, human rights

Geneva: After their first in-person summit Wednesday, President Joe Biden and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia addressed the press separately to make broad claims of good will, but on issues ranging from cyberattacks to human rights, the two sides remain divided, reports The New York Times.

“There has been no hostility…. our meeting took place in a constructive spirit,” said Putin.

Biden too said, “The tone of the entire meeting was good, positive.”

As for differences, Putin denied that Russia has played a role in a spate of increasingly bold cyberattacks against U.S. institutions and accused America as the biggest offender.

Biden said that he had pressed the Russian president on a variety of issues. “I made it clear to President Putin that we’ll continue to raise issues of fundamental human rights,” he said. He expressed optimism that Putin would not seek to escalate the tensions between the two nations.

“The last thing he wants now is a cold war,” Mr. Biden said, noting that “we have significant cyber-capabilities, and he knows it.”

On the  positive side, Putin said the two nations had agreed that their ambassadors, who both returned to their home countries amid the tensions, should return to their posts in the near future. He said they would also begin “consultations” on cyber-related issues.

“We believe the sphere of cybersecurity is extremely important for the world in general — including for the United States, and for Russia to the same degree,” he said.

Putin, who flew in from Sochi, Russia, A short time later, Mr. Biden’s motorcade pulled up as Russian, American and Swiss flags waved in the breeze under a blue sky with the United States entourage.

The two leaders were greeted by President Guy Parmelin of Switzerland, who welcomed them to Geneva, “the city of peace.” The summit was held at an 18th-century Swiss villa perched above Lake Geneva.

The high-stakes diplomatic engagement came at the end of a whirlwind week long European tour for Biden in which he sought to rebuild the traditional alliances that often bolstered the United States’ position during the Cold War. Biden has argued that the world is at an “inflection point,” with an existential battle underway between democracy and autocracy.

Federation, but those that contain it — which is the publicly announced goal of the United States.”

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy Press Pool)

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