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Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutin meet on Wednesday in Geneva. After shaking hands with his Russian counterpart, the American president considered that the United States and Russia were “two great powers”, a sign of a desire to ease tensions.
US President Joe Biden proposed Wednesday, June 16, to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin more “predictable” relations between the United States and Russia, believing that “two great powers” should manage their disagreements “rationally”.
Before starting their first summit in Geneva, in a beautiful 18th century buildinge century on the shores of Lake Geneva, the two leaders briefly shook hands.
“I hope our meeting will be productive,” said the Russian president, thanking Joe Biden for taking the initiative for the meeting.
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“We try to determine where we have common interests and where we can cooperate. And when this is not the case, establish a predictable and rational way to manage our disagreements”, explained for his part the American president. “Two great powers”, he added, in marked contrast to the words of Barack Obama who had qualified Russia as “regional power”.
The two men had arrived a few minutes apart, greeted by Swiss President Guy Parmelin who wished them good luck. Despite this handshake – a gesture that has become rare in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic – the discussions promised to be bitter and tense.
“We are not looking for a conflict with Russia”
The 46e The American president has adopted a resolutely firm tone in recent days with regard to the strongman of the Kremlin to better mark the contrast with the procrastination and ambiguities of his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump.
Joe Biden has promised to tell Vladimir Putin what “his red lines” are. “We are not looking for a conflict with Russia, but we will respond if Russia continues its activities,” he said Monday at the end of the NATO summit in Brussels.
Even though the White House has repeatedly stressed that no spectacular breakthrough should be expected, the 78-year-old president knows that his first trip abroad will be largely judged on the results of this very expected.
The Russian president can rely on a long experience: he has already rubbed shoulders with four other American presidents since coming to power at the end of 1999.
Many experts agree that he has already achieved what he most wanted: the holding of the summit as an illustration of Russia’s importance on the world stage.
In an interview with the American channel NBC, he said he hoped the Democratic president was less impulsive than his Republican predecessor. But he also took the opportunity to emphasize how much Donald Trump was, according to him, a “talented” man.