Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS
GENEVA (AP) — With stern expressions and polite words before the cameras, President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin plunged into hours of face-to-face talks Wednesday at a lush lakeside Swiss mansion, a highly anticipated summit at a time when both leaders agree that relations between their countries are at an all-time low.
Biden called it a discussion between “two great powers” and said it was “always better to meet face to face.” Putin, for his part, said he hoped the talks would be “productive.”
The meeting in a book-lined room had a somewhat awkward beginning — both men appeared to avoid looking directly at each other during a brief and chaotic photo opportunity before a scrum of jostling reporters.
Form more on Russian cyberattack groups, check out Gwen’s story here.
Gwen Baumgardner: NEW VIDEO THIS MORNING — PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN GREETING RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN FOR THEIR HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SIT DOWN IN GENEVA.
WE EXPECT 3 KEY TOPICS TO BE ADDRESSED.
-CYBERCRIME AND RUSSIAN ELECTION INTERFERENCE.
-PUTIN’S SUPRESSION OF HIS OPPONENTS
-AND RUSSIAN AGGRESSION TOWARD UKRAINE.
PRIOR TO THE MEETING…PUTIN SAT DOWN FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH N-B-C NEWS.
HE ADDRESSED THE ACCUSATIONS THAT RUSSIA LETS CYBER GANGS WORK FREELY IN THEIR COUNTRY… DOING EVERYTHING FROM ELECTION INTERFERENCE TO SHUTTING DOWN BUSINESS SYSTEMS AND HOLDING THEM FOR RANSOM
PUTIN SAYS ITS UNFOUNDED.
Vladimir Putin: “You know, the simplest thing to do would be for us to sit down calmly and agree on joint work in cyberspace. We are willing to engage with international participants, including the United States. You are the ones who have refused to engage in joint work.”
Gwen Baumgardner: WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THESE GANGS AND HOW THEY WORK?
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO VIEW THAT STORY.
IN THE INTERVIEW PUTIN ALSO SPOKE ON THE ARREST OF HIS MAIN OPPOSITION, ALEX NAVALNY.
HE DENIED ORDERING A HIT ON NAVALNY — AND *THEN USED THE HUNDREDS OF ARRESTS THAT FOLLOWED THE JANUARY 6TH CAPITOL RIOTS AS EXAMPLES OF THE *U-S SUPPRESSING OPPOSITION.
AS FOR TODAY’S MEETING…IT’S EXPECTED TO LAST ABOUT 5 HOURS, WE’LL HAVE UPDATES AS THEY HAPPEN.