Biden to hold solo press conference after Putin’s summit


US President Joe Biden will hold a solo press conference after meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin next week, denying the former KGB spy a high international platform to castigate the West and sow discord.

Putin’s brave performance at a 2018 press conference with Donald Trump came as a shock when the then US president questioned the findings of his own intelligence agencies and flattered the Russian leader.

Talking about the summit alone will also spare Biden, 78, open contests with Putin, 68, in front of world media after what is sure to be a combative encounter.

“We expect this meeting to be frank and direct,” said a White House official.

“A solo press conference is the appropriate format to clearly communicate to the free press the topics that have arisen during the meeting – both in terms of areas we can agree on and areas where we have significant concerns. “

Biden will meet with Putin on June 16 in Geneva for a summit that will cover strategic nuclear stability and the deterioration of relations between the Kremlin and the West.

US President Joe Biden walks between pledges at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain June 11, 2021. Leon Neal / Pool via REUTERS

Putin, who has been Russia’s supreme leader since Boris Yeltsin resigned on the last day of 1999, said ahead of the meeting that relations with the United States were at their lowest in years. Read more

Asked whether Biden called him a killer in an interview in March, Putin said he heard dozens of such accusations.

“It’s not something that concerns me in the least,” Putin said, according to an NBC translation of excerpts from an interview that aired Friday.

The White House said Biden would bring up ransomware attacks emanating from Russia, Moscow’s assault on Ukraine, the imprisonment of dissidents and other issues that angered the relationship.

Biden said the United States was not seeking to come into conflict with Russia, but that Washington would react vigorously if Moscow engaged in harmful activities.

Russia says the West is in the throes of anti-Russian hysteria and that it will defend its interests however it sees fit.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who greets G7 leaders including Biden at a summit in southwest England, told CNN that Biden would give Putin “pretty harsh messages, and that is something I would only approve of “.

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