Putin Hopes to Regularize Damaged Ties with US
By Staff, Agencies
Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped Friday to improve deeply damaged ties with the United States when he holds his first summit with US counterpart Joe Biden later this month.
The face-to-face meeting in Geneva on June 16 comes amid the biggest crisis in ties between the two countries in years, with tensions high over a litany of issues including hacking allegations and election meddling.
"We need to find ways to regularize these relations," Putin told the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, adding that bilateral ties are currently at a "low level."
He further stated: “We will talk about strategic stability, about the settlement of international conflicts,” noting that disarmament, the coronavirus pandemic and environmental issues will also be on the agenda.
"We have no disagreements with the United States," Putin stressed, pointing out that “They only have one disagreement: they want to hold back our development, they talk about it publicly."
Putin made the remarks as his spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned against any exaggerated expectations from the upcoming meeting in Geneva.
Peskov said, “This is indeed a very important meeting,” but “At the same time, it would be wrong to have inflated expectations.”
He pointed out that the two world powers disagree on so many things that one cannot expect any progress in reaching an understanding.
The diplomat however, hailed the beginning of a dialogue between the two presidents as “a positive step.”
Both Russia and the United States have downplayed expectations of any break through.
Since taking office in January, Biden has imposed new sanctions against Moscow over what US authorities alleged was Russia's role in the massive SolarWinds cyber-attack and meddling in the 2020 presidential elections.