Even if expectations of immediate agreements are low, the two eternal world adversaries have been heated up this Thursday’s meeting in Geneva with accentuated statements of sporting style. Trying not to offend his opponent more than necessary, Biden has recognized in his counterpart Putin a “worthy adversary”, “brilliant” and “tough”, who more than flattery to the Russian denotes the American’s own ability to confront a rival of similar caliber.
Despite the rain of criticism received for holding this meeting after the recent cyber attacks from Russia, the president of the United States has defended it, citing the majority consensus on the importance of this step. Both leaders hope, in fact, that the meeting will lead to more stable and predictable relations and that even the interaction, at its lowest point in decades, will lead to modest progress between the two countries.
Joe Biden, who recently called Putin a “murderer”, laughed when asked about it by the press, noting that he did not believe it carried much weight in today’s face-to-face. In it he will pose his opponent hot topics They include international interference by Russia, incessant cyberattacks, Ukraine and Syria, nuclear weapons control, and climate change. To achieve play, he will press with more economic sanctions and a greater blockade by the European partners.
To open his mouth, Biden will confront Putin on the two recent cyberattacks against vital US infrastructure by criminals allegedly linked to Russia, which caused the stoppage of the Colonial Pipeline Co fuel distributor and the meat packing company JBS SA in Brazil. Biden wants Moscow to crack down on cybercriminals. The FBI suspects the Russian government’s involvement in the attacks, although it has not released any evidence of this. The Russian president denies such a link, as he also denies cyber meddling in the US elections. In this case, the report prepared by the prosecutor Robert Mueller after an exhaustive investigation presented evidence and generated the indictment of Russian individuals responsible for the attacks.
On the other hand, Moscow is holding two former US marines, Paul Whelan for espionage, and Trevor Reed, for an alleged assault on a police officer. Their families have lobbied before the summit for their release. Putin could offer an exchange by the arms dealer Viktor Bout, and the pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, convicted of cocaine smuggling.
And despite the fact that the Russian president considers it untouchable terrain, Biden will not stop calling for the release of opponent Alexei Navalni and criticizing Moscow’s aid to Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.