On June 16, Geneva will host the much-anticipated between presidents of Russia and the United States. This event, to a certain extent, has overshadowed other summits and forums that are taking place these days — the G7, the EU and the United States, NATO.
Even when the very fact of the upcoming meeting between Putin and Biden was not confirmed, Moscow and Washington made it clear to everyone that one should not expect anything ground-breaking from it. Both Russia and the United States agree that the relations between the two countries are at an extremely low level.
Needless to say that such talks are prepared in advance. The topics that the parties are going to discuss during the meeting are discussed in advance as well.
According to Putin's aide Yuri Ushakov, the agenda of the summit includes practically all issues that concern the two countries, including "annoying problems."
"The agenda includes practically all the topics of concern to both parties. These are, of course, the state and prospects for the development of the Russian-American relations, the main issues of strategic stability, information security issues, issues of combating cybercrime. Of course, specific unresolved issues of bilateral relations, problems of economic cooperation, climate, the Arctic and, of course, the coronavirus pandemic will be discussed separately," Yuri Ushakov told reporters on the eve of the summit.
One may wonder what not to expect from the Putin-Biden summit for sure.
Konstantin Blokhin, an expert at the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, believes that there will be no major breakthrough indeed.
"Everyone treats this meeting with restraint, no one shares any illusions and hopes about it either in Russia or the United States. I think the talks are not going to be easy. I think that there will not be any breakthrough at all, one should not be sanguine about it. Putin has sad that before, Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke about that too, Biden and his team have made similar statement before as well," Konstantin Blokhin told Pravda. Ru.
Political analyst Dmitry Drobnitsky also believes that "there will be no breakthrough."
"They may take some symbolic actions. Maybe they will exchange prisoners. Perhaps they will decide to partially reopen diplomatic missions in a few months. This would be consistent with the plans of the American side to reduce the degree of tensions. I think that the statements that Joe Biden is going to make before and after the press conference will be the same," Dmitry Drobnitsky told Pravda. Ru.