The airplane with Russian President Vladimir Putin on board was escorted by Swiss Air Force fighter jets in the sky over Switzerland, Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, RIA Novosti reports.
Peskov gave a positive answer to a question from reporters, who asked him whether Russia's presidential airliner was escorted by military aircraft.
The meeting between presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States started. Putin thanked Biden for his offer to meet in Geneva.
“I know that you have a long trip, there's a lot of work,” he said. Biden replied that any personal meeting was useful.
During the summit, which is being held at La Grange estate, Putin and Biden are to discuss bilateral relations, international agenda, issues of strategic stability, the settlement of regional conflicts, as well as cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting is to last for about five hours. Following the talks, the presidents will hold separate press conferences.
Guy Parmelin, the President of Switzerland that hosts the summit of US and Russian presidents, tried to wish his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin success while speaking in Russian.
Parmelin first welcomed the leaders of the two countries to Geneva, to the "city of peace." The opportunity to host Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden is a great honor for Switzerland, he said. Then he wished the presidents "a fruitful dialogue for the benefit of your countries and the whole world." Parmelin addressed each president personally wishing them both good luck in the talks.
Addressing Biden in English, Parmelin unmistakably wished him success and said goodbye to him. Then the Swiss leader turned to Putin and switched to Russian, but failed to say the Russian word 'uspekhov' ('good luck') correctly. The Swiss president did say the word 'do svidaniya' ('goodbye') correctly, though. Vladimir Putin smiled and bowed to Parmelin in response to his remarks in Russian.
It is worthy of note that Vladimir Putin refused a protocol meeting with the Swiss authorities, the Tribune de Genève wrote with reference Geneva Mayor, Frederic Perle.
According to her, the canton administration made preparations for the meeting with the Russian president, which, as Swiss officials were expecting, was to take place during the Putin-Biden summit on June 16. Nevertheless, Geneva will still respect the wishes of the Russian delegation.
Putin's meeting with his American counterpart Joe Biden started at 13:35 local time (14:35 Moscow time). Before it began, the politicians posed for photographs with Swiss President Guy Parmelin. At 15:55 Moscow time, an extended meeting between presidents Biden and Putin started with the participation of delegations. The second part of the summit will start a little while later, at 17:40 Moscow time.
The venue of the summit is guarded by the military. Oerlikon GDF-005 anti-aircraft guns, automatic computerized weapons designed for short-range air defense, were deployed in the area of La Grange estate.
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