Biden to hold solo press conference after Putin meeting – White House official

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden walks between engagements at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 11, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS

June 12, 2021

By Steve Holland

CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will hold a solo press conference after his meeting with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin next week as that is the most appropriate format to clearly communicate with the “free press”, a White House official said on Saturday.

Biden will meet Russian President Putin on June 16 in an 18th-century Swiss villa overlooking Lake Geneva for a summit that will cover strategic nuclear stability and the deteriorating relationship between the Kremlin and the West.

“We expect this meeting to be candid and straightforward,” a White House official said.

“A solo press conference is the appropriate format to clearly communicate with the free press the topics that were raised in the meeting — both in terms of areas where we may agree and in areas where we have significant concerns.”

Putin, who has served as Russia’s preeminent leader since Boris Yeltsin resigned on the last day of 1999, said ahead of the summit that relations with the United States are at their lowest point in years.

Asked about Biden calling him a killer in an interview in March, Putin said he had heard dozens of such accusations.

“This is not something I worry about in the least,” Putin said.

The White House has said Biden will bring up ransomware attacks emanating from Russia, Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, the jailing of dissidents and other issues that have irritated the relationship.

Biden has said that the United States is not seeking a conflict with Russia, but that Washington will respond in a robust way if Moscow engages in harmful activities.

Russia says the West is gripped by anti-Russian hysteria and that it will defend its interests in any way it see fit.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden)





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