The American and Russian presidents concluded their first bilateral summit on Wednesday, after which they announced the return of their respective ambassadors.
First one-on-one meeting for Russian and American leaders. Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutine spoke for more than three hours , Wednesday, June 16, in Geneva (Switzerland). The exchange, which began with a symbolic handshake, allowed the two presidents to address the many issues that divide them: the situation in Ukraine and Belarus, Russian computer attacks and the state of the Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny. At the end of this meeting, the presidents announced the return of their respective ambassadors, recalled earlier this year for consultations. They also let it be known that a “compromise” on a prisoner exchange was possible.
Signs of appeasement, but no real progress
The two presidents welcomed the constructive exchanges at the end of their meeting. ” There was no animosity”, commented Vladimir Putin, welcoming “a frank and direct discussion”. His American counterpart, for his part, evoked ” a” positive “tone. The White House claimed in this meeting a double objective: to explore possible avenues of cooperation and to dissuade Putin from continuing his ” destabilizing activities “ around the world.
If the two countries got along well to initiate a dialogue on ” cybersecurity”, the summit did not lead to real progress. The Russian president did not fail to criticize Washington’s lack of cooperation on the issue of cybercrime, assuring that ” the greatest number of cyberattacks in the world come from American space”. As for the fate of the opponent Alexeï Navalny, now imprisoned after seeing the near death of a poisoning which he accuses the Kremlin of having fomented, Vladimir Putin simply declared: “This man knew he was breaking the law in force in Russia “. Joe Biden had issued a warning to Moscow on this subject earlier in the week, assuring that the death of the opponent “would only deteriorate relations with the rest of the world”, and with him more specifically.