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Putin holds press conference after Biden summit concludes

President Biden met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday for less than four hours of talks, a much-anticipated summit that comes as both sides say US-Russia relations have fallen to a new post-low. cold War.

The last: The summit ended around 11:15 a.m.ET, according to the White House. During a press conference, Putin described the talks as “very constructive” and announced that the respective ambassadors of the United States and Russia would resume their functions. Biden is expected to give his own press conference at 1:30 p.m. ET.

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US and Russian delegations at an expanded bilateral meeting. Photo: Mikhail Metzel TASS via Getty Images

Catch up quickly: After greeting each other in front of Villa La Grange, a mansion overlooking Lake Geneva, leaders sat down for a brief photoshoot as reporters shouted questions. According to reports from the White House pool, a chaotic brawl ensued when security attempted to remove the reporters from the room.

  • Russian security reportedly started pushing the journalists, tripping several on the rope separating them from the leaders. Politico’s Anita Kumar called it “the most chaotic scene” she’s witnessed at a presidential event in nine years. Read the full pool report.

  • Biden, Putin, Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov then held their first closed-door meeting, which ended at 9:17 a.m.ET after about 90 minutes, according to an official with the White House.

  • The leaders concluded an expanded bilateral meeting – their second and final round of closed-door talks – after about an hour. The session was shorter than expected.

What they say : “The relations between the United States and Russia have accumulated a lot of problems that require a meeting at the highest level and I hope our meeting will be productive,” Putin said ahead of the first meeting, according to a translator.

  • “Thanks. Like I said on the outside, I think it’s always best to meet face to face,” Biden replied.

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Photo: Mikhail Metzel TASS via Getty Images

The big picture: Neither side believes that a substantial agreement will come from the meeting.

  • Biden is expected to raise concerns about Russian interference in the election, harboring cybercriminals, cracking down on dissidents, detaining US citizens, and aggression against Ukraine.

  • Many of Biden’s predecessors took office in hopes of improving or restoring relations with Russia. Biden’s goals are more modest: to work together on the few issues, like nuclear security, where interests overlap, and to avoid crises that will further deteriorate relations.

A senior administrative official said the White House was looking for “three basic things”:

  • “First, a clear set of tasks on areas where working together can advance our national interest and make the world a safer place.”

  • “Second, a clear definition of the areas of vital national interests of America, where Russian activities that run counter to those interests will be answered.”

  • “And third, a clear explanation of the president’s vision for American values ​​and our national priorities.”

Who was in the room for the United States:

  • State Secretary Antony Blinken,

  • National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan,

  • Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland,

  • Eric Green, Senior National Security Council adviser for Russia

  • United States Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan

Who was in the room for Russia:

  • Putin’s assistant Yuri Ushakov

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov

  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

  • Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov

  • Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov

  • Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

  • Dmitri Kozak, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Kremlin

  • Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev

In picture

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A plane carrying Putin lands at Geneva airport. Photo: Sergei Bobylev TASS via Getty Images

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Putin comes down the stairs of his plane. Photo: Alessandro Della Valle / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

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Russian and American flags on the Mont-Blanc bridge before the Geneva summit on June 16, 2021. Photo: Pierre Albouy / AFP / Getty

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Officials stand near the entrance to Villa La Grange ahead of the US-Russian summit in Geneva. Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

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The room at Villa La Grange where the two leaders will meet Photo: Sergei Bobylev TASS via Getty Images

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Valery Gerasimov, Russian First Deputy Minister of Defense and Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Putin Dmitry Peskov, and Putin’s assistant Yuri Ushakov (LR) meet before the summit at Villa La Grange. Photo: Mikhail Metzel TASS via Getty Images

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Putin and Biden shake hands for the first time since Biden became president. Photo: Mikhail Metzel TASS via Getty Images

This story is developing. Please check for updates.

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