President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month, the White House announced.
The meeting is set to take place on June 16 in Geneva. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the “leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship.”
Russia, in its own statement, said: “We intend to discuss the state and prospects of further development of Russian-American relations, problems of strategic stability, as well as topical issues on the international agenda, including interaction in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the settlement of regional conflicts,” according to the Associated Press.
Worth noting: The Biden-Putin summit is scheduled to happen shortly after Biden visits the UK for the G7 summit in Cornwall. There, he is set to meet Putin in person for the first time since taking office earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Iceland. Their meeting marked the highest-level in-person talks between Moscow and Washington under the Biden administration.
How we got here: The meeting comes after the U.S. sanctioned several government members in Russia over the Kremlin’s treatment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline. It is believed that a hacking group linked to Russian criminals was behind it.
The Biden administration also expelled 10 officials from Russia’s diplomatic mission.
In March, Biden called Putin a “killer” and promised that the Russian president would “pay a price” for the country’s interference in the 2020 election.
Putin responded to the accusations by pointing to a children’s playground chant that says “he who said it, did it.”
“I would say to him: I wish you good health,” Putin initially said. “Although they think we are the same as them, we are different people; we have a different genetic and cultural-moral code. But we know how to defend our own interests, and we will work with them but in those areas in which we are interested and on terms we consider favorable for us. And they will have to reckon with that.”
Recently, Biden came under fire for reportedly lifting sanctions on a company overseeing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and its CEO who is tied to the Russian President.
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