US President Joe Biden’s scandalous remarks about Russian President Vladimir Putin could have an impact on the atmosphere at a US-Russia summit, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
At a June 9 briefing, reporters asked Psaki if the summit would be “awkward” after Biden’s interview with ABC in which he threatened to hold the Russian leader accountable for “meddling” in the U.S. election.
“The president has known President Putin for a long time. He has never held back in expressing his concerns or worries when their [Russia’s] behavior was not consistent with democratic values. And he will certainly be frank about that in the upcoming meeting as well,” the White House responded.
Earlier on Wednesday, ahead of the summit, U.S. President Joe Biden said the country was determined to be a strong leader on the international stage and that it had no desire for conflict with Russia.
On June 7, US Presidential National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the two leaders would meet not in spite of their differences but because of 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 2020.