This combo photo shows US President Joe Biden (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin. (PHOTO/AGENCIES)
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the main goals of his summit meeting this week with US President Joe Biden will be establishing personal contacts and direct dialog, and creating a mechanism to foster further interaction, according to an interview with Russia’s state television channel VGTRK.
He signaled there’s room for cooperation on environmental issues.
The Russian president also said the June 16 meeting could help create the conditions to discuss security issues between the two countries and that he would only consider extraditing alleged cyber-criminals if the US would extradite alleged criminals sought by Russia.
"To restore our personal contacts, relations, to establish direct dialogue, to create really functioning mechanisms in those areas that represent mutual interests...," Interfax quoted Putin as saying in an excerpt from the interview.
According to the Russian president, companies from the US want to work in Russia, but “they are being dragged out of our market by the ears,” and competitors are taking their places, which is hardly beneficial to the American economy.
Meanwhile, Biden is expected to hold a solo news conference after meeting Putin, whose bravura performance at a 2018 news conference with Donald Trump led to shock when the then US president cast doubt on the findings of his own intelligence agencies and flattered the Russian leader.
Putin's bravura performance at a 2018 news conference with Donald Trump led to shock when the then US president cast doubt on the findings of his own intelligence agencies and flattered the Russian leader
Talking about the summit alone will also spare Biden, 78, from open jousting with Putin, 68, before the world's media.
"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 said ahead of the meeting that relations with the United States were 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, according to an NBC translation of excerpts of an interview broadcast on Friday.
The White House has said Biden will bring up ransomware attacks, Ukraine, 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.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting G7 leaders including Biden at a summit in southwestern England, told CNN that Biden would be giving Putin some “pretty tough messages, and that’s something I’d only approve of”.
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