Biden Calls Putin a ‘Worthy Adversary’ After NATO Summit in Brussels

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden Calls Putin a ‘Worthy Adversary’ After NATO Summit in Brussels” – below is their description.

    President Joe Biden said U.S. allies have thanked him for his planned meeting with Vladimir Putin, but he warned the Russian president that relations would be severely damaged if Alexey Navalny, a political opponent who was the victim of an apparent assassination attempt, died in prison.

    “Navalny’s death would be another indication that Russia has little or no intention of abiding by basic fundamental human rights,” Biden said at a news conference in Brussels following a NATO summit on Monday. “It would be a tragedy.”

    “It would do nothing but hurt his relationships with the rest of the world, in my view, and with me,” he said of Putin.

    Navalny was jailed when he returned to Russia following treatment in Germany for his poisoning. Biden will meet Putin for the first time as U.S. president on Wednesday in Geneva.

    Biden declined to say whether he’ll seek concessions from Putin, referring to him as a “worthy adversary” and saying he wouldn’t negotiate in public. But he said that allied leaders he’s met with at Group of Seven and NATO summits in the past few days all support the meeting.

    “Generically, you all thought it was Biden meeting him too soon,” Biden told reporters. “Everyone I’ve spoken to privately and publicly” said it was the right time for the meeting, “and thought it was thoroughly appropriate that I do.”

    Putin and Biden agree that their countries’ relationship has hit a post-Cold War low, from tensions over election interference to cyber attacks and political freedoms. Putin has repeatedly provoked the U.S. ahead of his meeting with Biden, the first face-to-face discussion between the two leaders since Biden became president.

    Biden said that the two leaders “should decide where it is in our mutual interest and in the interest of the world to cooperate and see if we can do that. And the areas where we don’t agree, make it clear where the red lines are.”

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