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Biden, Putin conclude ‘positive’ Geneva summit

Geneva / United States president Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Wednesday held talks in Geneva with relations between Washington and Moscow at their lowest ebb in decades.

Despite the strained ties, Putin said “there was no hostility” during their talks, which focused on strategic stability, cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime.

They also addressed issues related to economic cooperation, climate change, as well as the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

While the Russian president admitted that their “assessments differ in many aspects”, he believes “both sides showed a desire to understand each other and to seek a rapprochement of positions.”

At a separate press conference, Biden insisted his agenda is “not against Russia or anyone else, it’s for the American people.”

“Human rights are who we are”, the US president said, adding they will “always be on the table”.

The two sides have also agreed to discuss cybersecurity going forward and have identified infrastructures that are off limits. Biden welcomed this “in principle”, although he insisted that “it has to be backed up by practice”.

Before the meeting got underway, the US and Russian presidents exchanged pleasantries in front of a raucous press pool.

Putin thanked Biden for his “initiative” in setting up the meeting in Geneva.

Biden replied: “It is always better to meet face to face.” (June 16, 2021, EFE)

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