Biden, on the other hand, said Putin, is a “career man”.
“He spent practically all of his adult life in politics. Just think about the number of years he’s spent in the Senate. A different kind of person, ”Putin said. “I really hope there are some advantages. Some drawbacks. But there will be no impulse-based movements on behalf of the incumbent US president. “
Biden and Putin are scheduled to meet in person on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland. The summit will come at the end of Biden’s wider visit to Europe, where it will meet with America’s allies in NATO and the European Union and give the president the opportunity to hear other leaders’ concerns before meeting Putin.
Putin’s last meeting with a US president was in Helsinki in 2018 with Trump, where Trump at the time seemed to accept the Russian president’s assurances that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 US election.
Next week’s summit comes as the two countries disagree on a number of issues such as cybersecurity and Russia’s war on US-backed Ukraine. Biden did not shy away from addressing these tension points in a speech at Mildenhall Royal Air Force Base earlier this week in which he made clear his goals to restore ties with allies around the world.
“We strive to lead with strength, to defend our values and to perform for our employees,” said Biden. “America is better placed to promote our national security and economic prosperity when we bring together like-minded nations to stand by us.”
Biden said he will meet with Putin next week to “let him know what I want him to know”.
The White House tried to lower the bar for the meeting, leading with the message that it is more about communication and less about results.
“Even in hostile relationships, such as we have with President Putin, it is important to have that diplomacy face-to-face,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN on Friday. “So that the president has the opportunity to be direct, to be sincere and to be clear about the consequences.”
When he urged Biden to bring up Putin’s charges against opposition figures like Alexei Navalny – an issue Putin’s spokesman told CNN was not on the meeting’s agenda – Psaki said the president intended to bring up the issue.
“Maybe it’s not on [Putin’s] Agenda, and that’s no surprise, ”said Psaki. “But surely the president intends to address human rights violations, the detention of dissidents and activists, which is a violation of what we believe should be global norms.”
In Friday’s interview, Putin evaded when asked directly whether or not he killed political opponents like former ally Mikhail Lesin, saying Simmons had heard “dozens of such allegations”. Urged for an answer, Putin said he “liked Lesin very much” and died in the US. “You mentioned a lot of people who actually suffered and perished at different times for different reasons by different people,” he said.
The Russian president has also come under pressure from reports that his country has offered to supply Iran with satellite technology to target the US military in the region. Putin shrugged his shoulders with a phrase familiar to many Americans: “It’s just fake news.”