Biden will meet Putin for a summit on June 16 in Switzerland

President Joe Biden will meet President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, for a summit on June 16.

The White House announced on Tuesday that Biden and his Russian counterpart will hold talks after the G7 summit in the UK and talks with NATO and the European Union in Brussels. 

‘President Biden will meet with President Putin in Geneva, Switzerland on June 16, 2021,’ The White House said in a brief statement.

‘The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship’.

President Joe Biden will meet President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, for a summit on June 16

The White House for weeks has refused to confirm the details of a potential summit meeting the two leaders discussed in a phone call.

It will follow Biden’s planned trip to the United Kingdom for the annual meeting of G7 nations – a group that once included Russia, as well as a trip to Brussels to meet with NATO allies.

The administration has touted the summit as an opportunity to attempt to normalize relations with Russia, after a series of Russian ‘malign’ activities that run counter to U.S. interests.

WE MEET AGAIN: The meeting will come on Biden's first foreign trip as president, and after he meets G7 and NATO allies. In this March 10, 2011, file photo, then Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow

WE MEET AGAIN: The meeting will come on Biden’s first foreign trip as president, and after he meets G7 and NATO allies. In this March 10, 2011, file photo, then Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow

Biden sparkws an uproar in March when he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos Putin was a 'killer.' The move infuriated Russia, and Putin responded by wishing him 'good health'

Biden sparkws an uproar in March when he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Putin was a ‘killer.’ The move infuriated Russia, and Putin responded by wishing him ‘good health’

Among the top areas the administration has identified are Russian election interference in 2016 and 2020, Russia’s posture toward Ukraine following the 2014 invasion of Crimea, and Russia’s imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The U.S. has repeatedly slapped sanctions on Russia in an effort to counter its activities. Russia has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and blamed the West for the poor state of relations. 

Biden’s one-on-one with Putin follows a series of summit meetings between Putin and former President Donald Trump, who repeatedly called for better relations with Moscow. 

Biden, a former vice president and former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has met Putin previously.

He helped spark an uproar in March when he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Putin was a ‘killer.’ 

The move infuriated Russia, and Putin responded by wishing him ‘good health.’ 

Putin responded with a variation of ‘sticks and stones.’

‘When I was a child, when we argued in the courtyard, we said the following: ‘If you call someone names, that’s really your name,:’ he said. ‘When we characterize other people, or even when we characterize other states, other people, it is always as though we are looking in the mirror.’

The ABC host had asked Biden if he thought Putin was a killer. ‘Mmm hmm, I do,’ he responded.

News of the date and location of a meeting prompted a reaction from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who linked the meeting to the U.S. sanctioning vessels – but waived sanctions on the company backing it – of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

‘An enterprising reporter should ask The White House if pumping the brakes on Nord Stream 2 sanctions was a precondition for this meeting,’ Cruz wrote.

The White House has said the project is nearly completed anyway – although some of Russia’s western neighbors fear the pipeline will make them vulnerable to pressure if Russia decides to cut off their supply of gas. The pipeline would ship gas from Russia directly to Germany.

A Kremlin statement indicates that the two sides are approaching with different agenda items. It said the leaders would discuss bilateral ties, problems related to strategic nuclear stability, regional conflicts, and COVID-19, Reuters reported.

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