US-Russia dialogue: Tensions simmer between 2 superpowers as Putin, Biden meet

Geneva: US President Joe Biden met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday amid worsening relations between the US and Russia.

Two of the world’s most powerful personalities were face-to-face in a mansion built amidst beautiful greenery on the banks of a lake in Switzerland. Joe Biden has arrived in Switzerland after scathing statements against Russia at the G-7 and NATO summits.

Vladimir Putin arrived in Geneva on Wednesday for the high-level meeting with his US counterpart Joe Biden. On the other hand, US President Joe Biden had reached Geneva on Tuesday. Before this much-awaited meeting, US President Joe Biden has held meetings with the European allies of the US.

Biden, Putin pose for media photos without looking at each other

The bitterness between the two leaders, was evident from the fact that before the start of the talks, both leaders posed for photos in front of the media without looking at each other. 

The talks between the two leaders lasted for about five hours. Vladimir Putin has said he hopes talks will be fruitful and something new will emerge, while Joe Biden said face-to-face meetings are always good. 

Earlier, Putin and Biden shook hands in the presence of Swiss President Gué Parmellin, who thanked the two leaders for selecting Switzerland for the talks.

In the past, both leaders had made sharp attacks against each other

The two leaders have been attacking each other fiercely for months before this meeting. Joe Biden has been blaming Vladimir Putin for carrying out cyber attacks on US interests. 

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The US has also condemned Putin’s attempt to influence the US elections. The US establishment have been condemning the Russian government for imprisoning Navalny, while Putin has been linking the January 6 attack on the US Capitol to democracy, saying the US has no right to teach democracy to others.

Don’t expect better results

Now that the two leaders are face to face, neither side is expecting any better and more surprising results. 

“We disagree in many areas, but we are meeting each other to draw the red line. It is in our interest and also in the interest of the world,” Joe Biden said earlier this week. 

These issues were discussed

The US has expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in recent years and closed two campuses. The Russian government, on the other hand, has prohibited locals from being hired for US operations in Russia, which could mean cutting services, including visas. On this also both the leaders can talk.

Russia has recently pushed for a prisoner swap, but fulfilling its conditions seems impossible for the US. At the same time, there is very little chance of any relaxation from the Russian side. This issue may also come up during the talks.

The case of Putin’s political rival Alexei Navelny may also arise. Navelni was poisoned earlier and is currently in jail. Russia has been accused of human rights violations regarding this. Navalny has been banned by a Moscow court on charges of being an extremist.

There is a difference of opinion between the two countries regarding the Ukraine issue. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed regret over the Putin-Biden Geneva summit. 

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Zelensky had expressed concerns a few days ago about the US President’s plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russia-to-Germany natural gas pipeline.

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