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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden Returns to U.S. After Summit With Russia’s Putin in Geneva” – below is their description.
President Joe Biden arrived at Joint Base Andrew after his summit with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Biden said he wanted to meet Putin in Geneva to set some “rules of the road” in a relationship that has been eroding for years. After about three hours together, the two leaders showed how differently they interpreted that goal.
Putin got one thing he craved — legitimacy on the international stage. Biden argued he confronted Putin over cyberattacks, Russia’s treatment of democracy activists and the need to cooperate over nuclear weapons and the Arctic.
But concrete accomplishments were hard to define, and both leaders were in vintage form. Shrugging off questions about human rights in Russia, Putin spent much of his post-summit news conference on Wednesday criticizing the U.S. over issues ranging from CIA black sites in the early 2000s to the January attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“What about Guantanamo — it’s still working,” Putin said. “And it doesn’t come under any kind of law, international, American, nothing. CIA prisons which were opened in lots of states and exercised torture, was that human rights?”
Biden said he handed Putin a list of 16 types of critical infrastructure he said should be off limits from hacking — even saying Russian officials were impressed by his argument against ransomware attacks like the one that shut down the Colonial Pipeline last month.
“I pointed out to him we have significant cyber capability, and he knows it,” Biden said. “He doesn’t know exactly what it is, but it’s significant. If in fact they violate these basic norms, we will respond.”
Setting new red lines for Putin could mean that another high-profile cyberattack traced to Russia would force a visible U.S. response that could reverse any goodwill coming out of the summit.
But Biden said the meeting was an important opportunity to lay out the U.S. position face to face.
“I know there was a lot of hype around this meeting but for me it’s pretty straightforward,” Biden said. “This is about how we move from here,” he said, adding that the summit “was not done in a hyperbolic atmosphere.” Whether it will be successful, he said, “We’ll find out.”
There was never any expectation that the meeting in Geneva would solve the many problems between the U.S. and Russia. The U.S. wants Russia out of Crimea, to end interference in elections abroad, allow democratic debate at home and stop backing strongmen from Belarus to Venezuela. Putin — whose popularity has fallen amid the Covid-19 crisis and quickening inflation — wants an end to U.S. sanctions and, less tangibly, to reconfirm the sense that Russia is respected abroad.
On that last point, he got some of what he wanted from Biden, who called Russia a “great power” and a “proud” nation, an improvement from former President Barack Obama’s dismissive reference to Russia being a “regional power.”
The summit was seen as a success in Moscow, said Andrey Kortunov, head of the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council. “Putin got the recognition he wanted from Biden.”
But Biden also said he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to pressure Putin over human rights and cases such as that of imprisoned opposition leader Alexey Navalny.
“How could I be the president of the United States of America and not speak about the violation of human rights,” Biden said. “That’s why we’re going to raise our concerns about cases like Alexey Navalny.”
Biden said he made clear to Putin that if Navalny dies in prison, “the consequences of that would be devastating for Russia.”
Putin shrugged that off. He faulted the opposition leader for seeking medical treatment abroad — after he was poisoned, allegedly by state security services — and compared democracy protests led by Navalny to violence at some anti-racism demonstrations in the U.S. last year, saying he didn’t want Black Lives Matter-type disturbances brought to his country.
He also gently warned Biden that new sanctions would lead to “another missed opportunity” for the U.S.Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel
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