July 24, 2021

Biden and Putin meet in Geneva


President Joe Biden arrived in Geneva on Tuesday when US officials laid out the structure for his long-awaited talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Air Force One landed in Geneva around 10:20 am ET // 4:20 pm local.

Officials aboard the plane said Biden would meet Putin at 1 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET) Wednesday at the lakeside village where the summit is taking place. Putin will arrive first at the village.

Both will be greeted by the president of Switzerland before the three pose for a photo.

Their first meeting will feature four participants: Biden, Putin, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Each side will have a translator and there will be a photo session.

The meeting will then be expanded with five-member delegations from each side, in addition to Biden and Putin. It was not yet clear who would participate for the United States.

US officials said they expected the talks to last four to five hours, or perhaps longer. Leaders are not expected to share a meal.

“Bread breaking is not allowed,” said a senior administration official.

The two leaders will conclude by calling separate press conferences.

Officials underscored modest expectations for the talks, citing nuclear stability and other arms control agreements as a potential source of agreement. They said it was possible for potential cooperation areas to be assigned to attendees for additional work.

Ransomware is expected to be a major factor in the talks, and the official said that Biden would underscore the US plans to respond to ongoing state-led attacks.

Biden will raise human rights, the official said, but did not specify whether that will include a discussion about opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

Both the US and Russian ambassadors in the respective capitals will be in Geneva for the talks.

The official said Biden has been reviewing the issues in written material and engaging with a wide variety of advisers in the run-up to the summit.