U.S. President Joe Biden said the country is determined to play the role of a strong leader in the international arena and that it has no desire for conflict with Russia. He said this on Wednesday, June 9, at a meeting with U.S. servicemen upon his arrival in Britain. His speech was broadcast by the White House on YouTube.
“We are not looking for conflict with Russia, we are looking for a stable predictable relationship. Our nations share a great responsibility among other things in strategic stability,” Biden said.
The U.S. president also said he takes that responsibility seriously.
“But I’ve made it clear, the U.S. will respond robustly and meaningfully to the Russian government’s involvement in malign actions,” he stressed.
Biden also said he would let Putin know that “America is back.” He recalled that he had come to Europe to attend a number of summits, including the U.S.-Russia one.
“I’m going to the Group of Seven, then to the NATO ministerial meeting, and then to meet with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, in order to let him know that I want him to know,” Biden said.
In addition, Biden said the U.S. has a serious responsibility to share arms control with Russia.
“Our countries have an enormous responsibility, including to ensure strategic stability. I take that responsibility most seriously. But I have made it clear that the U.S. will respond in a serious way if the Russian government is involved in damaging [U.S.] activities,” the U.S. administration chief said.
Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the summit of the Russian and U.S. presidents did not have a coordinated agenda. Furthermore, Lavrov pointed out that Moscow has no inflated expectations or illusions regarding the upcoming meeting between the Russian and U.S. presidents. According to him, the very fact of the meeting between Putin and Biden is important. According to the Russian Foreign Minister, Moscow is ready for a frank discussion.
On June 7, National Security Adviser to the President Jake Sullivan said that the meeting of the two leaders would take place not in spite of their differences, but thanks to them. He said there were “many issues” that the two countries needed to work out. According to the American leader’s adviser, a direct conversation between the heads of states is the best way to understand Moscow’s intentions.
The meeting between Biden and Putin is scheduled for June 16 in Geneva. It will be the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders since the U.S. president took office. For the Russian president, however, the trip to Geneva will be his first foreign visit since January