The White House considers the planned meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva
necessary and whatever.
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said in Washington on Monday that the US president will meet with his Russian counterpart precisely because of the differences between the two countries.
“We don’t view a meeting with the Russian president as a reward,” Sullivan said. “We see it as a vital part of defending America’s interests and values.”
The meeting will take place after Biden’s consultations with heads of state and government of the Group of Seven, NATO and the European Union in the previous days. So the timing of the summit with Putin could not be better.
“When President Biden returns to Washington next week, we believe we will be in a stronger operational position to manage the major threats and challenges this country faces,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan emphasized that nothing can replace a direct meeting between leaders, and this is especially true with Putin, who has a “very personal style of decision-making”.
The US and Russian presidents are scheduled to meet on June 16 in Geneva. This is the first meeting since Biden took office in January, and comes at a time of great tension between Washington and Moscow.