First formal summit between Biden and Putin went better than expected

The first formal summit between the US President Joe Biden, and Russian President, Vladimir Putin, went better than expected when they met in Geneva, Switzerland.  The two leaders described their bilateral relations as positive and constructive and reached substantial progress over a number of heated issues which had led to a collapse in the two countries’ relationship.

The leaders addressed two separate press conferences at the end of the talks.

With a tone which was more conciliatory and positive than expected, Putin described Biden as an experienced statesman and very different from his predecessor, President Trump. A crucial decision was for both sides to agree to send their respective ambassadors back to the two countries from which they had been withdrawn.

President Putin said they discussed the stability of nuclear strategy and that both countries had agreed to explore the changes to the New Start, which is the Arms Control treaty.

President Joe Biden in a reconciliatory tone, said that where there were differences he wants President Putin to understand why he says what he says, and does what he does.  He said the US is not against Russia or any another country but wants to fight for human rights.

He said that within this context, the US will continue to show its concerns about issues such as, for example, those which concern the arrest and treatment of Opposition leader Alexei Navalny ad the defence of the right of the media to be allowed to operate and exercise freedom of speech.

Speaking about common interests he said it was essential for the two sides to cooperate and promote stability especially over issues which concern human stability with a strategy which is agreed upon by experts and diplomats in sensitive sectors such as nuclear armaments,  and for mechanisms which eliminate the threat to the danger to humanity.

Biden is the fifth President to have face to face talks with Putin, although he had already met him in 2016 when he was the Vice President in the Obama administration.