Wide-ranging Biden-Putin summit to also cover Mid-East

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, meeting for the first time as presidents at a Geneva lakeside resort on Wednesday, have allotted 4-5 hours to wide- ranging talks that will cover the Middle East, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula, as well as the Iranian nuclear program, Nagorno-Karabakh and Belarus. The meeting is high stakes since both agree, while trading barbs, that US-Russian relations have hit a new low. US Democrats have accused Russia of meddling in the presidential election and hacking. Biden said ahead of the meeting that the treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny symbolizes Russia’s civil rights ills. He conceded that the Russian leader was “bright” and “tough and a “worthy adversary.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that statements coming from the US about the need “to contain Russia” and “make it pay for this, or that” do not “ease the general atmosphere.” But he also found “a positive sign in American rhetoric calling for dialogue with Russia, which will be taken into account by President Putin. The two leaders will also discuss trade and investment cooperation.

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