U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday (June 16) began their first summit since Biden took office, with deep disagreements likely and expectations of solving them low.
Both have said they hope their talks can lead to more stable and predictable relations, even though they are at odds over everything from arms control and cyber-hacking to election interference and Ukraine.
Putin and Biden exchanged a few words before going inside Geneva’s Villa La Grange.
Relations have been deteriorating for years, notably with Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, its 2015 intervention in Syria and U.S. charges – denied by Moscow – of meddling in the 2016 election that brought Donald Trump to the White House.
They sank further in March when Biden said he thought Putin was a “killer”, prompting Russia to recall its ambassador to Washington for consultations. The United States recalled its ambassador in April.