Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the topics that he is going to discuss with his US counterpart President Joe Biden during the upcoming summit in Geneva on June 16. According to him, he and Biden will discuss global issues, such as the START-3 Treaty.
As soon as Biden took office as president, the United States extended the treaty automatically for five years. Putin noted that it was a professional decision.
"In general, of course, on the part of President Biden it was a manifestation of professionalism,” Putin said in an interview with Pavel Zarubin for "Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” TV program.
According to the Russian president, in addition to the START-3 issue, he will discuss conflicts in Syria and Libya, as well as environmental issues.
"This is the START-3 issue, the issue of regional conflicts in Syria, Libya, as well as issues related to environmental activities. Issues of a global nature. These are at least these positions, but there are others," Putin said.
The meeting between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden will take place on June 16 in Geneva.
In an extensive interview with NBC, Vladimir Putin said that Russia does not engage in activities to assassinate political opponents. NBC News senior international journalist Keir Simmons asked Putin whether he personally ordered to assassinate Russian opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny.
"We don't have this custom to assassinate anyone,” Putin said.
During the same interview, Putin spoke about the conditions of Navalny's detention in the colony. According to him, Navalny will be treated there no worse than anyone else.
Simmons also asked Putin perhaps the most pressing question too.
"The late John McCain in Congress called you a killer. When President Trump was asked, was told that you are a killer. He didn't deny it. When President Biden was asked whether he believes you are a killer. He said, I do. Mr President, are you a killer?” Simmons wondered.
Putin laughed, but did not say exactly "No, I am not."
"Over my tenure, I've gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext, and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness and none of it surprises me … So, as far as harsh rhetoric, I think that this is an expression of overall US culture. Of course, in Hollywood … there are some deep things in Hollywood. Macho behavior. Which can be treated as cinematic art, but that is part of US political culture where it's considered normal. By the way, not here, it is not considered normal here.”
Simmons referred to a number of high-profile assassinations of well-known public figures that Russia had seen during the recent years.
"Look, you know, I don't want to come across as being rude, but this looks like some kind of indigestion except that it's verbal indigestion. You've mentioned many individuals who indeed suffered and perished at different points in time for various reasons, at the hands of different individuals.”
Putin also was asked about Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden.
"Well, even now, I believe that former US President Mr. Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise he would not have become US president. He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. But he didn't come from the US establishment, he had not been part of big time politics before, and some like it, some don't like it but that is a fact. President Biden, of course, is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics … Just think of the number of years he spent in the Senate … That's a different kind of person, and it is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse based movements on behalf of the sitting US president.”
The full interview with air on NBC on Monday, June 14, two days before the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva.