Joe Biden is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva, marking the first in-person interaction between the two leaders since Biden took office.
The meeting comes amid rising tensions between Washington and Moscow, which escalated in March. As previously reported by Human Events News, Russian President Vladimir Putin took diplomatic tensions to a new level, challenging Joe Biden to a live-streamed discussion between the two powerhouse leaders.
“I’ve just thought of this now,” Putin told a Russian state reporter. “I want to propose to President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do it basically live, as it’s called. Without anything pre-recorded, in an open and direct discussion. It seems to me that would be interesting for the people of Russia and for the people of the United States, as well as for many other countries.”
The invitation came just a day after Joe Biden, during an interview with ABC News, said Russian President Vladimir Putin will “pay a price” for his efforts to undermine the 2020 presidential election.
What’s worse, when interviewer George Stephanopolous asked Biden if he thought Putin was a “killer,” Biden replied “I do.”
The meeting is expected to follow Biden’s trip to the Group of Seven summit in England and a NATO gathering in Brussels, his first foreign trip as president, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship,” Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
Psaki added that Biden would also use the meeting to underscore U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty amid a surge of Russian troops at the border.
The Kremlin confirmed the meeting, and said that the two leaders would discuss relations, including issues of strategic stability, regional conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Republican lawmakers criticized Biden over the Geneva meeting plan.
“Instead of treating Putin like a gangster who fears his own people, we’re giving him his treasured Nord Stream 2 pipeline and legitimizing his actions with a summit,” Sen. Ben Sasse said in a statement. “This is weak.”
Psaki rejected that characterization. “We don’t meet with people only when we agree,” she said, adding that the meeting is an important way to defend America’s interests.