President Biden is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva for five hours of talks on Wednesday, a highly anticipated summit that comes as both sides say U.S.-Russia relations have sunk to a new post-Cold War low.
The latest: Putin arrived in Geneva shortly before 7 a.m. ET and traveled via motorcade to Villa La Grange, a mansion set in a 75-acre park overlooking Lake Geneva. Biden arrived at around 7:20 a.m. ET. The two leaders are expected to take a photo with Swiss President Guy Parmelin before the meeting begins.
The big picture: Neither side believesthat substantive agreement will come from the meeting.
- Biden is expected to raise concerns about Russia's election interference, harboring of cyber criminals, crackdown on dissidents, detention of American citizens, and aggression toward Ukraine.
- Axios World editor Dave Lawler writes: "All of Biden's predecessors on this list came into office hoping to improve relations with Russia. Biden's goals are more modest: to work together on the few issues, like nuclear security, where interests overlap, and to avoid crises that will cause relations to deteriorate any further."
A senior administration official said the White House is seeking "three basic things":
- "First, a clear set of taskings about areas where working together can advance our national interest and make the world safer."
- "Second, a clear laydown of the areas of America’s vital national interests, where Russian activities that run counter to those interests will be met with a response."
- "And third, a clear explication of the president’s vision for American values and our national priorities."
What to watch: The two leaders will not hold a joint press conference. Putin will speak to the press at noon EDT, and Biden will follow.
Who will be in the room, per CNN:
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken,
- National security adviser Jake Sullivan,
- Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland,
- The National Security Council's top Russia adviser Eric Green
- U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan
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