Russia Wants Putin-Biden Meeting To Boost Dialogue On Arms Control

Joe Biden Vladimir Putin

Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s adviser for International Affairs, stressed on Tuesday that the summit could lead to the return of the respective ambassadors to their posts, after the recent increase in bilateral tensions.

The Government of Russia expressed its desire on Tuesday that the meeting between the presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, respectively, will serve to promote a dialogue on arms control aimed at reducing the number of strategic weapons.

“I hope that the summit is a starting point,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov, in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper in which he said that Moscow “has delivered its proposals” to the US authorities.

“The internal analysis process is ongoing. It is difficult to predict how long it will take them, “he said before highlighting that “for now”there has not been a statement from Washington, as reported by the Russian news agency Sputnik.

In this sense, Riabkov pointed out that he hopes that the summit between Putin and Biden “will start the work, the arduous work of negotiations”, before emphasizing that it is necessary to “limit weapons and strengthen strategic stability instead of increasing weapons ”to reinforce security.

As specified by the White House when the date of the meeting between the two leaders was confirmed, Biden and Putin will discuss “the full range of urgent issues” between the two countries, as they “seek to restore the predictability and stability of the relationship” between Moscow. and Washington. For its part, the Kremlin specified that the leaders will debate the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the “resolution” of regional conflicts.

For his part, Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s adviser for International Affairs, stressed on Tuesday that the summit could lead to the return of the respective ambassadors to their posts, after the recent increase in bilateral tensions.

The Russian ambassador to Washington , Anatoly Antonov, traveled to Moscow in March after Biden called Putin a “murderer” during an interview. Washington subsequently imposed sanctions and expelled Russian diplomats, to which Moscow responded by recommending US Ambassador John Sullivan to travel to the United States for consultations.

“Now it seems that the ambassadors are in the wrong place. The intention is that at the end of the summit, if the presidents agree, they will return to where they should work. If the presidents make that decision, the ambassadors could return to the capitals as soon as the event in Geneva is over ”, he mentioned.

“We have agreed that the two ambassadors will be part of the delegations (that will participate in the summit in Geneva), which seems to me a sign that they will then go to work elsewhere,” argued Ushakov.

Ushakov stressed that the summit will begin in a reduced format with a meeting between the presidents and the foreign ministers, after which it will be expanded so that all the delegations participate. “I do not know if the presidents will step aside to maintain a real face to face, it depends on them,” he valued.

In this way, he said that during the meeting “the current state and prospects of Russian-American relations” will be addressed , as well as aspects of “strategic stability”, “computer security” and “issues of economic cooperation, climate, the Arctic and, naturally, the fight against the coronavirus ”.

Finally, “regional problems” will also be addressed, such as the situation in the Middle East, Libya, Afghanistan, the Korean peninsula and the Iranian nuclear program, as well as the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and Ukraine and the crisis in Belarus.

Ushakov also said that “the presidents can raise any issue” and added that Moscow “is aware” that Biden is going to put on the table the case of the opposition Alexei Navalny, imprisoned after being detained on his arrival in Moscow for breaching the law. parole after spending months in Germany recovering from a poisoning that the prominent opponent blames directly on Putin.

Despite all this, he emphasized that “radical advances are not expected at the summit.” “I’m not sure that some agreements will be reached,” he said, before highlighting that “it is a first meeting” that takes place at a time when “bilateral relations are in a very complicated situation.” “I think that both parties are aware that it is time to start solving the traffic jams that have been created,” he concluded.