In the latest effort to protect Joe Biden from the press, the president will not hold a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after their meeting this week.
“I always found, and I don’t mean to suggest the press should not know, but this is not a contest about who can do better in front of a press conference or try to embarrass one another,” Biden said Sunday. “It’s about making myself very clear what the conditions are to get a better relationship with Russia.”
Biden said a joint conference with Putin could lead to a distraction and take away from their private discussion.
“I think the best way to deal with this is for he and I to meet, he and I to have our discussion,” Biden continued. “I know you don’t doubt that I’ll be very straightforward with him about our concerns, and I will make clear my view of how that meeting turned out, and he’ll make clear from his perspective how it turned out.”
“I don’t want to get into being diverted by, did they shake hands, who talked the most and the rest,” he said.
The White House announced Saturday that Biden would hold a solo press conference after the Wednesday meeting in Geneva, the first between the two leaders since Biden took office, per Business Insider.
Biden is expected to address recent cyberattacks in the U.S., Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine and its jailing of dissidents like opposition leader Alexei Navalny.