U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are expected to meet in Geneva on June 16. The two leaders will discuss a lot of bilateral and international matters.
It will be the last point of the American president's big European tour, during which he took part in the NATO summit, the G7, met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Elizabeth II. The next step is a bilateral summit with Putin.
While the last preparations are underway in Geneva, we know exactly where it will take place, what the program of the meeting of the presidents envisages and what expectations both sides have for it.
Time and location
The Biden-Putin summit is scheduled to begin at 13:00 local time (14:00 Kyiv time).
The meeting will take place at a Swiss villa of the 18th century overlooking Lake Geneva. It is called La Grange and is located in the park of the same name.
Swiss security forces last week closed two parks surrounding the villa. Reuters also reported that Swiss police and army had installed barricades and barbed wire.
Restrictions on airspace over Geneva will apply from Tuesday until Thursday, June 17. They will not only apply to commercial flights.
"At its meeting on 11 June 2021, the Federal Council approved a temporary restriction on the use of airspace during the summit between President Biden and President Putin from 15 to 17 June 2021 in Geneva. The Swiss Air Force will provide air policing and tighter airspace surveillance. The armed forces will also set up a support service to assist the civilian authorities in providing security on a subsidiary basis," the Federal Council of Switzerland said.
At its meeting the Federal Council also approved the subsidiary deployment of a maximum of 1,000 military personnel in support of the Geneva cantonal authorities. In particular, the armed forces will be responsible for protecting foreign representations and will provide equipment to the Geneva cantonal police for air and lake transport. These measures complement the security measures put in place by the cantonal authorities. They do not involve any additional expenditure for the Confederation, as they are covered by the ordinary budget.
Program of the meeting
According to media reports, the summit program provides for the following ↓
- The leaders will arrive at Villa La Grange. It is expected that Vladimir Putin will be the first to arrive - he will be met by Swiss President Guy Parmelin. They will later be joined by Joe Biden.
The U.S. delegation included U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and the Russian delegation included Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
- Biden and Putin will move to the library, and the negotiations will begin.
The Kremlin notes that communication will be conditionally divided into three parts: in a narrow format (in the presence of Lavrov and Blinken), in an expanded format, and after a break for tea and coffee - the continuation of talks.
In total, taking into account the breaks, the talks are designed for four to five hours.
- After the talks, the presidents will hold separate press conferences in a tent near the villa.
Earlier, the White House confirmed the information that Biden will hold a separate press conference.
"A solo press conference is the appropriate format to clearly communicate with the free press the topics that were raised in the meeting — both in terms of areas where we may agree and in areas where we have significant concerns."
Moscow also does not expect the joint press conference; however, proceeding from the works of Spokesperson of the Russian President Dmitriy Peskov, Putin is ready for it.
The hour program of the summit is the next:
- 13:00 at local time (14:00 Kyiv time), the photo op of the presidents of the U.S., Russia, and Switzerland is planned;
- 13:15 (14:15 Kyiv time), the talk of the leaders of Russia and the U.S. should take place (at the first floor of the library);
- 14:30 (15:30 Kyiv time), the expanded Russian-American talks will take place;
- 16:15 (17:15 Kyiv time), the second part of talks in the expanded format;
- 18:00 (19:00 Kyiv time), the press conference of the Russian president on summit’s results. It is expected that Biden will hold a briefing after Putin.
The topics for discussion
According to the messages from both sides of the talks, Biden and Putin can discuss the next topics:
- contentious diplomatic relationships. S. President builds hopes that he will be able to agree on the return of the ambassadors of the countries back to Washington and Moscow. CNN reported it citing three sources familiar with the plans of the leader of the American state. It was reported earlier that Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoliy Antonov was recalled from Washington in March after Biden called Putin a killer. U.S. Ambassador in Russia John Sullivan left Moscow in April after Russia offered him to return to Washington for consultations.
- issue of Belarus, as well as of Ukraine. The President’s Office also made statements on it.
- a number of recent cyber attacks aiming against American and international organizations, including the attack at Colonial pipeline;
- the violation of human rights.
Kremlin states that one of the key topics of the upcoming summit is strategic stability.
“During the past years, “many serious problems” collected in this sphere, grounded by “a number of unilateral steps of the U.S.” – withdrawal from the treaties on missile defense, Intermediate‑Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Open Skies,” Interfax wrote, citing assistant of the Russian president Yuriy Ushakov. The last noted that the presidents can discuss any topic that was not agreed beforehand.
Expectations from the meeting
The American side
Spokesperson of the White House Jen Psaki announced that Biden will try to establish relations between the U.S. and Russia to make them “more predictable and stable”.
According to the American president, he intends to make it clear for Putin that the areas exist in which the U.S. and Russia can cooperate. But if the Russian leader does not want to cooperate and continue to act with the same spirit, including the cybersecurity sphere, the U.S. “will strike back”.
The Russian side
Putin stated that he expects the results of the meeting to restore the personal contacts with Biden, create working mechanisms for cooperation on directions that present the mutual interests.
The Russian president mentioned strategic stability, the issue of regional conflicts, environmental actions, and care for ecology in general (globally), and cooperation in the economic sphere.
"If after this meeting we create mechanisms for working in all these areas, I think it would be good. One could say that the meeting was not in vain," Putin said.
Meanwhile, Peskov warned that there is no need to expect something extra from the talks of Putin and Biden. According to him, even the beginning of the dialogue is a positive step.
The expectations of Ukraine
Ukraine hopes that during the meeting f the American and Russian leaders, the U.S. will influence Russian in the peaceful settlement of the Donbas Conflict.
“We expect that President Biden will tell Vladimir Putin that the U.S. is on the side of Ukraine and it will do everything to restore sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state. When Russia recognizes that the U.S. is serious, Moscow will adopt a constructive position and it will make significant concessions. The U.S. can drastically influence the peace process between Ukraine and Russia,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kuleba stated.
The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine expressed confidence that the U.S. can drastically influence the peace process between Ukraine and Russia.