Jun 11, 2021
Biden, Putin Reportedly Unlikely To Hold Joint Press Conference After Much-Anticipated Meeting
This news has been received from: dailycaller.com
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President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are currently not expected to hold a joint news conference after their June 16 meeting, CNN reported.
Biden and Putin’s much-anticipated meeting comes on the heels of the 2021 G-7 summit. The duo will speak for the first time since Biden took office in Geneva, Switzerland.Two U.S. officials familiar with the matter told CNN that plans currently don’t include a joint press conference.
This would mark a change from Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump, who met with Putin on June 16, 2018, and held a joint press conference afterwards. The details of this particular summit are still being hashed out, though – and likely will be until just before the event begins – so plans could change, according to CNN.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN that Putin is willing to hold a joint press conference, but added that they aren’t expecting one to happen.
“We heard about such a possibility from our American counterparts, but we are still waiting for final confirmation,” he reportedly said.
The administration has given reporters a small glimpse into topics expected to be discussed during Biden’s meeting with Putin. The American president will press Putin on recent hacking attacks against U.S. companies that originated from Russia-based hacking groups. Biden is also looking “to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki previously noted.
Still, Biden is keeping most details private. When asked for his message to Putin on Friday, Biden said he would give up that information after speaking with the Russian president.
“I’ll tell you after I deliver it,” Biden said at the G-7 summit.
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on June 11, 2021 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shaking hands with US Presidents (from top left) Bill Clinton in the lobby of the Stamford Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand on September 12, 1999 on the first day of the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, US President George W. Bush during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Hanoi on November 19, 2006, US President Barack Obama in Los Cabos, Mexico, on June 18, 2012, during the G20 leaders Summit and US President Donald Trump during the G20 summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. (Photo by STEPHEN JAFFE,JIM WATSON,ALEXEY NIKOLSKY,MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/RIA NOVOSTI/AFP via Getty Images)
Although the joint press conference seems unlikely to happen, Biden wants to speak to reporters afterwards, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said, according to CNN.
“He does want to have an opportunity after that meeting to read it out and speak about his impressions and what he sees as the way forward,” Sullivan explained.
Relations between the U.S. and Russia as struggling. The U.S. previously finalized sanctions on Russia after multiple incidents, including its decision to jail opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Biden hasn’t been entirely silent on his feelings about the Russian president either, calling him a “killer” in March.
In retaliation, Putin recalled Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. just hours later. More recently, Russia warned America and said it should expect “uncomfortable” signals leading up to Biden and Putin’s meeting. (RELATED: Putin Blasts US As Hypocritical Ahead Of Meeting With Biden, Points To Prosecution Of Capitol Rioters)
“The Americans must assume that a number of signals from Moscow … will be uncomfortable for them, including in the coming days,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said according to RIA news agency, Reuters reported.
Biden said the trip “is about realizing America’s renewed commitment to our allies and partners,” according to an op-ed published by The Washington Post prior to his trip.
“Whether it is ending the COVID-19 pandemic everywhere, meeting the demands of an accelerating climate crisis, or confronting the harmful activities of the governments of China and Russia, the United States must lead the world from a position of strength,” the president wrote.
News Source: dailycaller.com
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Detainee fates hang over Biden meeting with Putin
The families of two Americans and former Marines detained in Russia hope that the upcoming summit between President BidenJoe BidenBiden prepares to confront Putin Ukrainian president thanks G-7 nations for statement of support Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinBiden prepares to confront Putin Ukrainian president thanks G-7 nations for statement of support Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE will be a step forward toward bringing their loved ones home.
Trevor Reed, 29, and Paul Whelan, 51, have each been jailed in Russia for a combined five and a half years, detentions that their families and U.S. officials maintain are unjust.
Reed’s parents, Joey and Paula Reed, told The Hill in an interview that they hoped Biden would raise their son’s detention with Putin. They expressed support for a prisoner swap that could bring their son home — something Putin himself has suggested he may be open to.
“We think this is our best chance right now, while everything is going on, to make this occur and get Trevor home,” said Paula Reed. “We are cautiously optimistic.”
Reed, who served as a presidential guard at Camp David during the Obama administration, was detained in 2019 on charges of assaulting a police officer during a drunken episode and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison last July. His family says that his arrest was politically motivated and suspect the Russians jailed him as a pawn in hopes of extracting something from the United States. Reed says he does not remember the incident.
The Reeds last spoke to their son on May 20 and believe he has been in isolation since May 24 after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
“He’s been there almost two years and he’s not going to get that time back,” Paula Reed said.
Whelan is serving a 16-year sentence at a Russian labor camp after being accused and convicted of spying, a charge that he and his family vehemently deny. Whelan, who is also a Canadian, British and Irish citizen, was detained in Russia in December 2018. He says that he was set up.
Whelan has a respiratory ailment as well as a stress injury on his elbow from working in a factory making clothes, his brother David Whelan told The Hill in an interview Monday.
The detentions are among a host of thorny and emotional issues hanging over Biden’s first meeting with the Russian president since taking office in January.
The U.S. government has also raised alarm about the case of U.S. investor Michael Calvey, who is fighting criminal embezzlement charges in Russia related to a commercial dispute. Calvey was released from house arrest last year.
It’s unclear whether Biden will directly raise the detained Americans during his meeting with Putin in Geneva on Wednesday. U.S. officials say that Biden plans to confront Putin on a myriad of issues, including cyberattacks, human rights and election interference.
There will be meetings between other high-level U.S. and Russian officials where the detentions may be more likely to come up.
David Whelan said that his family doesn’t “have any expectation that Paul would be on the agenda of such an important meeting” but said the summit could pave the way for progress in his brother’s case.
“We retain the same hope that just having the summit is a good step forward, regardless of whatever the outcomes of the summit are for Paul,” he said. “Our hope is that there will be outcomes in the future, as much as anything.”
During an interview with NBC News ahead of the summit, Putin suggested he would be willing to free Whelan and Reed for Russians detained by the U.S. while dismissing Reed as a “drunk” and a “troublemaker.”
Putin named Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on drug conspiracy charges. Another individual whose release Russia may seek is convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.
“There is a possibility that this could move forward and no doubt that President Biden will raise these two peoples’ fates,” said Angela Stent, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian & East European Studies. “I think it’ll only be resolved if a tradeoff is made that is acceptable to the Russians.”
Senior Biden administration officials have been more vocal than those in the Trump administration in drawing public attention to the detentions of Reed and Whalen, both of whom were arrested in Russia under former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE.
Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenTop nuclear watchdog: Lack of Iran deal leaves agency 'flying blind' Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Biden meets with foreign leaders as ambassadorships sit vacant MORE raised their cases in communications with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, which the State Department then explicitly acknowledged in readouts.
Early on in his term as secretary of state, Blinken also held a video call with families of Americans wrongfully detained in other countries that lasted nearly two hours.
“It just lifted our hearts,” said Joey Reed, Trevor Reed’s father, recalling the virtual meeting. “You could see people crying.”
The families have also been complimentary of the work of U.S. ambassador to Russia John Sullivan and Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, who served in the Trump administration but were asked to stay on.
Still, efforts to secure the release of the men have been unfruitful and tensions between the U.S. and Russia have only risen over the past year.
After taking office, Biden imposed fresh sanctions on Moscow over the Kremlin’s poisoning and jailing of Alexei Navalny and the unprecedented SolarWinds cyberattack targeting U.S. government institutions and businesses.
“I think the ideal message would be that arbitrary detentions of American citizens by any nation are the sort of action that the American government won’t tolerate,” David Whelan said when asked what message he would like Biden to send about his brother. “Not only are arbitrary detentions not acceptable, but that they consider Paul’s case to be an arbitrary detention.”Tags Russia Vladimir Putin Antony Blinken Donald Trump Joe Biden