The Wider World

Biden, Putin: polite and pointed

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN and Russian President Vladimir Putin (White House photo).

President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met Wednesday in Geneva and discussed arms control and diplomacy as well as more divisive issues.

According to the Associated Press, the three-hour summit did little to address the matters that have troubled the relationship between the two nations. The U.S. and NATO allies have criticized Putin’s government for cyber attacks and intrusions, attempted interference and human rights, among other issues.

“I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior,” said Biden after the meeting. “What will change his behavior is the rest of the world reacts to them and they diminish their standing in the world. I’m not confident in anything.”

Putin denied any cyber intrusions, saying, “Most of the cyber attacks in the world are carried out from the cyber realm of the United States.” He also pronounced the meeting to be civil. “There has been no hostility,” he said.

But Biden said that he warned that if Russia did things such as target major American infrastructure, the response from Washington would be “devastating.”

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