(PresidentialWire.com)- Switzerland will be the host of the first in-person meeting between President Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.
On Tuesday, the White House says it’s still finalizing plans for the summit between Biden and the Russian president. In a statement, the White House said:
“President Biden will meet with President Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16, 2021. The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship.”
Russia released a statement of its own, and seemed equally as optimistic about the talks. The statement read:
“We intend to discuss the state and prospects of further development of Russian-American relations, problems of strategic stability, as well as topical issues on the international agenda, including interaction in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the settlement of regional conflicts.”
The summit between the two world leaders is set to take place at the end of the first international trip the president will take since he has taken office.
Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, is set to travel to Geneva this week, where he will meet with his counterpart in Russia to iron out the remaining details of the meeting between Biden and Putin.
On Tuesday, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said that Biden would address countries such as Belarus and Ukraine during the meeting with Putin. She told reporters at her normal briefing Tuesday:
“We expect they will spend a fair amount of time on strategic stability, where the arms control agenda goes following the extension of New START.
“The President will also raise Ukraine, underscoring America’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and he will also plan to raise Belarus and convey our grave concerns — as he has now done publicly — privately.”
At that same press conference, Psaki just couldn’t resist from taking a shot at former President Donald Trump. When asked by reporters whether meeting with Putin would be like rewarding him for recent bad behavior, Psaki responded:
“Well, we may have forgotten over the last couple of years, but this is how diplomacy works … We don’t meet with people only when we agree. It’s actually important to meet with leaders when we have a range of disagreements, as we do with Russian leaders.”
At a time when Psaki and Biden should be focusing on the task at hand — discussing and ironing out diplomacy between the United States and Russia — they again are turning their attention to the previous regime.
Biden is apparently hoping to establish a clear and open channel of communication with Putin as tensions between the two powers seem to be escalating. America has a very different view on Ukraine than Russia does, for example, and there are plenty of other issues between the two countries.
The relationship didn’t get off to a good start, with Biden placing sanctions on Russia almost immediately after taking office. Now, he hopes to undo some of that damage he has already done.