Swiss President Guy Parmelin, whose country is hosting the meeting, stressed that the summit between the US and Russian presidents is an opportunity that will allow for optimism in international politics, noting that cooperation between major powers is necessary to overcome common challenges.
Parmelin said: “Switzerland is convinced of the need to develop constructive ties between the major powers in order to overcome the challenges we live in. Over the past eighteen months, the world has suffered from an epidemic that has struck hard. The Geneva meeting comes as an opportunity for both the US and Russian presidents to instill more optimism and hope in international politics. The entire international community must aim to achieve sustainable recovery in the wake of this crisis that it has experienced.”
US-Russian relations have been strained by Washington’s accusations of meddling in the presidential election, as well as its responsibility for a series of cyber attacks against government agencies and private companies.
What worries Washington and its security community is not only the recent ransomware attacks on American companies, but “Putin’s poor record in dealing with human rights, which is represented in the poisoning and imprisonment of prominent opposition figures in Russia, and his support for brutal crackdowns against demonstrators in Belarus, as well as his policies in Syria.” According to US reports.
And he had threatened Biden that he would specify to the Russian president during their upcoming meeting what his “red lines” are. “We do not seek conflict with Russia, but we will respond if Russia continues its activities,” the US president said during a press conference at the end of the NATO summit in Brussels.
He said that his country will respond firmly to any hostile behavior coming from Russia, while indicating that Washington does not want to open a conflict with Moscow, but that there are many issues and files that the two countries can cooperate in resolving, including the crisis in Libya and the file of the reconstruction of Syria. climate change and others.
Biden adopted a firm tone two days before the summit with Putin, but described the Russian president as a “smart” and “hard” man. The US President expressed his concern over the fate of the imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Biden said that Navalny’s death, if it occurs, will be a new indication that Russia has no intention of respecting basic human rights. “It would be a tragedy. It will damage relations with the rest of the world and with me.”
Biden also condemned the “aggressive activities of Russia” and stressed his and NATO’s intention to “support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
“We will do everything we can so that Ukraine can resist aggression,” the US president said. But he warned that Ukraine’s accession to NATO, which President Volodymyr Zelensky is insisting on, depends not only on him, but on the decision of the 30 member states of the alliance.
The families of two Americans and former marines detained in Russia hope the summit between the two presidents in Geneva will be a step forward toward their repatriation.
The issue of the exchange of hostages and detainees is among a group of thorny issues hanging on Biden’s first meeting with the Russian president, but some analysts believe that some progress can be made in the file of the exchange of detainees and in returning diplomats to their posts, which sends a signal that some progress has been made.
In comments to state media last week, Putin said there were “issues on which we can work together” with the United States, starting with new talks to limit nuclear arms, discussing regional conflicts including Syria and Libya, and climate change..
“If we can create mechanisms to work together on these issues, I think we can say that the efforts of the summit were not in vain,” the Russian president added.“.
Observers believe that a truce in “diplomatic wars” may also be possible. The United States has expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in recent years; Now US envoys in Russia will be prevented from hiring local residents, which means deep cuts in services including visas.
And about what exactly he expects from the Geneva summit, Biden did not want to give an explicit answer, stressing that he does not want to reveal his strategy in advance to “journalists around the world.”“.
But he hoped that there would be a change in the Kremlin master’s approach.