Geneva (VG) US President Joe Biden and his Russian envoy Vladimir Putin shook hands with the president for the first time today.
Putin first came to the villa from the 1660s, where the Geneva Convention, based on the law of international war, saw daylight in 1864.
Unanswered by calls from waiting journalists, the smiling duo got out of Swiss President Guy formalin before strolling on the red carpet.
Then the U.S. president waited, and a quarter of an hour later Pitan’s black limousine rolled in front of the entrance. For no apparent reason, another minute passed before the car door opened.
Before Biden left, the two smiled and looked confused for a moment before Formalin waited for a few seconds before posing in front of the cameras.
There is no elbow between Biden and Putin, but a real, physical handshake.
In a brief press conference before the meeting, Biden told Putin that “it is always best to meet face to face.”
“I want to thank you for the initiative to meet today,” Putin said in Russian, before being translated by a translator.
– I hope our meeting will be fruitful, said the Russian President before the two Presidents’ session to discuss a number of complex issues, including cyber security, Ukraine and human rights.
The meeting is expected to last about five hours.
When they last met, in 2011, Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president and Putin’s prime minister.
Putin, who has been in power in Russia since 1999, has met with several US presidents.
After his first meeting with Russia in 2001, George W. Bush said, “I had an idea about his soul.”
Twenty years later, the relationship between the two to meet is completely different.
However, the weather in Switzerland is hot on Wednesday The relationship between the two great powers is colder than it has been for a long time.
Experts say that if they get used to it, it could be good news for the world.
– Christian Edland VG, a senior researcher at the Armed Forces Research Institute, said that if they could establish a good personal chemistry, it would be good for political dialogue.
– Meeting in person is always very valuable, he continues.
In the current context, where epidemic diplomacy has become digitalized, it becomes even more important.
– It’s clear that you want a lower threshold for picking up the phone, calling a person you’ve met before, and thinking you can talk, says Atlant.
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In 1962, when the Cuban Missile Crisis almost led to the Cold War, a direct telephone connection was established between the Kremlin and the White House.
The idea was that a direct line between the presidents could contribute to sobriety in dramatic moments.
– Atlante says it is important to establish these personal relationships at the bureaucratic level and at the highest political level, as we see here.
– Then they can try to see if they can identify the treaty islands in the sea of disagreement.
According to his spokesman, Putin was in a creative corner when he arrived at the villa.
“There are many issues that we want to address, so Putin has come up with a constructive mindset and an open mind to ask questions and look for solutions,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said before the meeting.
The first part of today’s meeting is in a closed, small format: except for the interpreters, only Foreign Ministers Anthony Blinken and Sergei Lavrov are in attendance.
About two hours later, at 15.23 local time, Reuters reported that this part of the meeting was over. The remaining negotiations take place with representatives from five participants on each side.
Geneva closes – here the US and Russia can agree
Critics point out that Biden’s meeting with Putin justifies the Russian president’s action against basic democratic values.
– On Biden’s side, they have decided that having a dialogue will have a lasting effect not only on the relationship between the United States and Russia, but also on international politics, says Verin Alme, a political scientist and commentator on AmericanScoPoliticalNow.
Meeting physically helps show that the United States is back as a world leader, he explains.
– It is clear that Biden is pragmatic and will not be harder than he is. Alme says that may be the benefit of meeting behind closed doors.
– But I don’t really think there will be any major discrepancies between what he says and the crowd.
Biden is known to be tough on foreign policy negotiations, he explains.
– Foreign policy is his field. There he is confident, and knows what he wants and can achieve.
Sources: VG / NDP
Outside the villa, journalists and photographers are ready, you can follow what is happening directly here: