U.S. and Russian leaders meet for tense Geneva talks

June 16, 2021 - 17:58

U.S. President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are meeting for their first, highly-anticipated summit.

The talks in Geneva, Switzerland, come at a time when both sides describe relations as being at rock bottom.

Discussions are set to include arms control and U.S. allegations of Russian cyber-attacks.

No major breakthroughs are expected but there are hopes of finding small areas of agreement.

The arrangements for the meeting were carefully choreographed. The Russian president flew into Geneva on Wednesday before being taken by motorcade to the grand villa overlooking Lake Geneva where the summit is taking place.

Biden, who arrived in the city on Tuesday, then headed to the villa where the two leaders shook hands.

The meeting comes on the tail end of Biden's first foreign trip as U.S. president, in which he has also attended meetings with G7 and Nato leaders. Going into the summit, Mr Biden has stressed that he has the backing of his Western partners.

The choice of Geneva as the setting harks back to the Cold War summit between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985.

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