Biden and Putin praise Geneva summit talks but discord remains

Biden and Putin praise Geneva summit talks but discord remains
US President Joe Biden (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin meet for the US-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The US president and Russian president have praised their meeting in Geneva but have made little concrete progress at the first such meeting since 2018.

Disagreements were stated between the two militarily powerful nation, but not in a hyperbolic way, and US President Joe Biden said Russia did not want a new Cold War.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia said Mr Biden was an experienced statesman and the two “spoke the same language”.

The talks between the two leaders in Geneva lasted around three hours, less time than was scheduled.

Mr Biden said they didn’t need to spend more time talking and there was now a genuine prospect to improve relations between the US and Russia.

As a gift to Mr Putin, the US president brought a custom-made pair of aviator sunglasses, a style favoured by Mr Biden, and a crystal sculpture of a bison. It is not clear whether Mr Putin gave Mr Biden a gift.

The Russian leader gave former President Donald Trump a soccer ball after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland. in 2018.

Both the US and Russia agreed to begin a dialogue on nuclear arms control. Both leaders said they would return ambassadors to each other’s capitals – the envoys were mutually withdrawn for consultations in March, after the United States accused Russia of meddling in the 2020 presidential election.

However, there was little sign of agreement on other issues, including Ukraine, cyber-security and the fate of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence in a penal colony.

President Biden said there would be “devastating consequences” for Russia if Navalny died in prison.

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