The presidents of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and from the United States, Joe Biden, arrived today within minutes of each other at Villa La Grange in Geneva, where they will meet for the first time in an attempt to find areas of cooperation and overcome disagreements.
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Biden He already arrived in the Swiss city on Tuesday, where, when asked if he is prepared for tomorrow’s summit with Putin, he replied: “I am always ready.”
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Putin He arrived at 13.05 local time (11.05 GMT) in his Russian limousine Aurus to the mansion built in the 18th century directly from Cointrin airport, where he had landed minutes earlier from Moscow.
The Swiss president of the moment, Guy Parmelin, greeted him on a red carpet at the entrance of the village, flanked on both sides by the flags of Russia, the United States and Switzerland and flower pots.
Biden He arrived eleven minutes later from the hotel where he is staying at the villa, where, like Putin, was greeted by Parmelin.
Unlike Putin, the US presidential plane Air Force One landed on Tuesday afternoon in the Swiss city, from Brussels, where Biden participated in the NATO summit on Monday and on Tuesday in one between the US and the European Union (EU).
Parmelin will now deliver a few words of welcome as host of the summit and later – and after a joint photo – the two leaders will retire to one of the town’s libraries to begin negotiations.
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First they will do it in a reduced format, together with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, and the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and then in a larger one, in which the two presidents and five advisers of each delegation will participate.
According to the Kremlin, it is not yet clear whether the two leaders will ever meet alone during the summit.
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This will depend solely on the wishes of Putin and Biden.
“If they both think it is necessary to speak alone, they will,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said today.
The summit is designed to last about five hours, but the agenda is too broad to cover everything at this time, so the talks will last “as long as they have to last,” he said.
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On the agenda are thorny issues for Putin such as the Kremlin’s support for the Belarusian regime, human rights and the persecution of the Russian opposition, especially the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalni, the role of Russia in eastern Ukraine or cyber attacks. in the US from Russian territory.
Both leaders will also address the current state and prospects of bilateral relations, strategic stability, issues of computer security and the fight against cybercrime, economic cooperation, climate, the Arctic and the fight against coronavirus.
Putin and Biden will also assess the situation in the Middle East, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and the Korean peninsula, as well as the Iranian nuclear program. Also the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh.
The US president attends the summit with the intention of treating Putin with a heavy hand, but also to advance in an endless number of bilateral disagreements.
The meeting represents the greatest diplomatic challenge for the US president since he came to power in January: standing up to a rival whom he accuses of a string of evils while trying to contain the escalation with the largest nuclear power.
Since the beginning of his presidency, the American has insisted that he seeks a predictable relationship with Moscow, but has warned that he will respond if Russia crosses Washington’s “red lines”.
The summit comes three months after Biden described Putin as a “murderer”, and ten years after a meeting between the two in Moscow in which the American, then vice president, told the Russian that he “had no soul. ”.
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Putin will be the first to report the results of his first summit with Biden, around 6:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. GMT), because afterwards he plans a bilateral meeting with Parmelin and the Swiss delegation before returning to Moscow.
The summit has strong security measures: the operational force is made up of more than 4,000 people, including a thousand soldiers and 3,000 agents from the different police forces.
Half a thousand soldiers are Air Force pilots who ensure safety over Geneva, the other five hundred are spread over the lake and the mainland.
All streets near the shore of Lake Geneva will be closed to traffic, as well as the vicinity of the Intercontinental Hotel, where Biden is staying.
In the rest of the city there will also be strong restrictions on road traffic and cross-border residents and workers have been advised to work at home as much as possible or use public transport.
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