Biden, Putin to Meet Face-to-Face in Switzerland

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Russian President Vladimir Putin waves while walking along Red Square after a military parade in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2021.
(Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters)

President Biden will meet Russian president Vladimir Putin next month, the White House announced on Tuesday.

The first in-person meeting between the two heads of state is scheduled for June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

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The meeting will come after Russia moved to bolster its military forces near the Ukrainian border in April. Russian ally Belarus forced a commercial airliner to land in Minsk on Sunday, where Belarusian authorities detained a dissident journalist before allowing the flight to complete its journey to Vilnius, Lithuania.

Biden announced sanctions on Russia in April in response to the country’s ongoing occupation of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine, involvement in the cyberattack against SolarWinds, and interference in the 2020 U.S. elections.

“Now is the time to deescalate,” Biden said at the time. “The way forward is through thoughtful dialogue and diplomatic process.”

Biden added, “My bottom line is this: where there’s an interest in the United States to work with Russia, we should and we will….When Russia seeks to violate the United States, we will respond. We will always stand in defense of our country.”

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