Biden Arrives in Geneva Ahead of Wednesday Summit With Russia’s Putin

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden Arrives in Geneva Ahead of Wednesday Summit With Russia’s Putin” – below is their description.

    President Joe Biden on Tuesday arrived at the Cointrin airport in Geneva, Switzerland, on the eve of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    When President Joe Biden meets with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Geneva this week, he can expect little warmth from a man he’s called a killer. That doesn’t mean the summit is doomed to fail. Seeking breakthroughs would be unproductive. So would grandstanding or aiming to antagonize Putin by embarrassing him. Instead, Biden should quietly lay the groundwork for future dialogue. That means two things: establishing the conditions under which cooperation might be possible, and leaving Putin in no doubt about America’s determination to defend its interests and allies against Russian aggression.

    Much of the Geneva meeting will follow a standard diplomatic script, in contrast to Putin’s summits with Donald Trump, some of which took place with no aides present. The two leaders will have plenty to quarrel over.

    Since Biden’s election, Putin has raised tensions with the West by moving 100,000 troops to the border with Ukraine and condoning the grounding of Ryanair Flight 4978 by Belarussian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of Putin’s who has cracked down brutally on pro-democracy forces. Disinformation backed by Russia’s intelligence services continues to promote disorder in the U.S. and Europe — most recently by spreading false claims about the efficacy and safety of U.S.-made Covid vaccines. The imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and banning of Navalny’s organization from fielding candidates in upcoming elections underline Putin’s growing authoritarianism at home.

    In his closed-door talks with Putin, Biden should stress America’s commitment to the security of Ukraine and other vulnerable nations in Russia’s periphery, such as Georgia and the Baltic states. He should warn Putin that efforts to seize territory by force or destabilize U.S. allies in Europe will be punished. And Biden should make clear that if his administration finds evidence of Kremlin support for cyberattacks originating from Russia, the U.S. will retaliate in kind. Securing the endorsement of NATO countries for such policies will be critical to Biden’s leverage with Putin, whose strategic goals hinge on weakening the trans-Atlantic alliance.

    On other issues, including arms control, the Iranian nuclear program and climate change, Biden and Putin will have more opportunities to find common ground. The U.S. president should signal openness to cooperation but be realistic about the prospects for progress, leaving substantive negotiations to working-level teams. As a gesture toward stabilizing the U.S.-Russia relationship, the two leaders should agree to return ambassadors to each other’s capitals and ease restrictions on embassies and consular services that have needlessly harmed citizens from both countries.

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