Joe Biden-Vladimir Putin meeting: where is the summit today and what will US and Russian presidents discuss?

The two leaders will meet for their first summit in Geneva on Wednesday, as relations between the countries remain at a low point

President Biden arrives for the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which will be held the Villa La Grange overlooking Lake Geneva (Getty Images)
President Biden arrives for the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which will be held the Villa La Grange overlooking Lake Geneva (Getty Images)

The US and Russian presidents are preparing to meet today for their first summit.

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin’s highly-anticipated talks come as relations between the two countries are extremely strained.

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The encounter will mark the end of Mr Biden’s first foreign trip since he took office, which saw him visit Cornwall for the G7 Summit then fly into Brussels for NATO and EU discussions.

So, where and when will the talks take place - and what are the two leaders expected to discuss?

Here is everything you need to know.

Where is the Biden-Putin summit being held?

Discussions between the presidents will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday (16 June).

It is the same city where the Cold War summit between US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev took place in 1985.

Mr Biden and Mr Putin will meet at the historic Villa La Grange on the shores of Lake Geneva, with the summit expected to begin at around 1pm (11am GMT).

The 18th century lakeside villa, set in Geneva’s biggest park, is used to hosting showpiece events but the US-Russian talks will be the most high-powered of them all.

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The mansion has played a part in landmark international agreements before, including the first Geneva Convention.

What will the two presidents discuss?

The two leaders are expected to cover Ukraine, Belarus, Iran and Syria as well as issues like arms control, sanctions and US claims of Russian cyber-attacks and interference in elections.

Mr Biden, who previously called Mr Putin “a killer”, is planning to raise the fate of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned then imprisoned in the country.

The poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in 2018 is also likely to come up in the discussions.

However, there are low expectations from both sides that the US-Russian summit will result in any major diplomatic breakthroughs.

The Russian president’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov told journalists in Moscow that the relationship between the two countries was “at an impasse” and that there was “not much” ground for optimism.

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But the two premiers could find small areas of agreement at the meeting, which was initiated by President Biden.

Mr Putin told state TV there were “issues where we can work together”, beginning with new nuclear weapons control talks and discussing conflicts including Syria and Libya. Climate change was also mentioned.

"If we can create mechanisms for working on those issues, then I think we can say the summit was not in vain," he said.

Meanwhile, while a senior US official told reporters they were "not expecting a big set of deliverables out of this meeting", Mr Biden has said it is a significant step if the talks result in "stability and predictability" in the countries’ relations.

On Monday (14 June), he said he will make clear to Mr Putin "what the red lines are" and "if he chooses not to cooperate and acts in a way that he has in the past relative to cybersecurity and some other activities, then we will respond in kind."

The US President called his Russian counterpart "a worthy adversary" in the run-up to the summit.

It is hoped that the talks will at least restart some contact between the two countries.

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For the last few months, there hasn’t been an ambassador in Moscow and Washington from either side.

Russia also recently included the US on its official list of “unfriendly states”.



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