Washington does not intend to abandon its intentions to hold a meeting between U.S. and Russian presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, despite suspicions that hackers from Russia may have been involved in a new cyberattack on a major U.S. company, JBS. This was announced Tuesday, June 1, by White House Deputy Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre.
“As you can imagine, we do not consider this meeting with the Russian president a reward for Moscow. We see it as a vital part of protecting America’s interests. President Biden is meeting with Vladimir Putin because of the differences between our countries, not in spite of them,” she said during the briefing. It was broadcast on the Forbes Breaking News YouTube channel.
Jean-Pierre added that the two sides have many important issues to discuss. In particular, Biden will touch on U.S. priorities, and he also wants to hear the Russian leader’s intentions and plans.
In addition, according to the deputy press secretary of the American presidential administration, personal interaction between the two heads of state cannot be replaced, which is why they need to be able to negotiate.
“It is important that President Biden sit down face-to-face at the negotiating table with President Putin in order to try to iron out differences and identify areas where we can make progress,” she concluded.
Earlier Tuesday, Jean-Pierre said Washington was in direct contact with Moscow over the cyberattack on the U.S. division of the world’s largest meat producer, JBS USA. She said hackers allegedly based in Russia may be involved in the incident.
The attack on JBS was carried out on May 30 and the company was forced to suspend all affected systems while the problem was being fixed in the USA and Australia.
Brent Eastwood, CEO of JBS Foods Australia, noted that the cyberattack was aimed at the company’s information systems. That’s why the planned slaughter of beef and lamb across Australia was canceled on May 31. Workers were sent home while the problem was fixed.
JBS USA is a subsidiary of Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s largest beef and pork processor.
Putin and Biden will meet June 16 in Geneva. It will be the first face-to-face meeting of the heads of state since Biden took office as U.S. president. The trip to Geneva will be the Russian president’s first foreign visit since January 2020.