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Biden-Putin summit: What to expect when you're not expecting much

After a bitter blast from Putin and tough talk from Biden, both sides agree: Don't count on much from Wednesday's summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What they're saying: "We’re not expecting a big set of deliverables out of this meeting," a senior Biden administration official told reporters on Air Force One from Brussels to Geneva. "No breaking of bread."


  • "I'm not sure that any agreements will be reached," Putin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said.

Biden and Putin are scheduled to greet each other at about 7 a.m. ET in Villa La Grange, a mansion set in a 75-acre park overlooking Lake Geneva.

  • A Putin news conference is scheduled for noon EDT, followed by a Biden news conference.

Former Russian diplomat Vladimir Frolov told Reuters that Putin wants respectful treatment like members of the Soviet Politburo got in the 1960s-1980s, with "a symbolic recognition of Russia's geopolitical parity with the U.S."

  • Frolov said that in exchange, Moscow "would be willing to cut back on some of the loony stuff ... no poisonings, no physical violence, no arrests/kidnappings of U.S. and Russian nationals."

In contrast to President Trump's 2018 meeting with Putin in Helsinki, which included a meeting accompanied only by interpreters, Biden and Putin aren't expected to have any solo dealings.

  • Biden will push Putin to stop meddling in democratic elections, to ease tensions with Ukraine and to stop giving safe harbor to hackers carrying out cyber and ransomware attacks. Aides believe that lowering the temperature with Russia will also reinforce U.S. ties to democracies existing in Moscow’s shadow. (AP)

Go deeper: "Making history: The scramble to document presidents' summits."

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