This combination of files pictures created on June 7, 2021 shows then Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaking about reopening the country during a speech in Darby, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 2020 and Russian President Vladimir Putin delivering a speech during a meeting with Russian athletes and team members, who will take part in the upcoming 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on January 31, 2018.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
U.S. President Joe Biden will hold a solo press conference after his meeting with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin next week as that is the most appropriate format to clearly communicate with the “free press”, a White House official said on Saturday.
Biden will meet Russian President Putin on June 16 in an 18th-century Swiss villa overlooking Lake Geneva for a summit that will cover strategic nuclear stability and the deteriorating relationship between the Kremlin and the West.
“We expect this meeting to be candid and straightforward,” a White House official said.
“A solo press conference is the appropriate format to clearly communicate with the free press the topics that were raised in the meeting — both in terms of areas where we may agree and in areas where we have significant concerns.”
Putin, who has served as Russia’s preeminent leader since Boris Yeltsin resigned on the last day of 1999, said ahead of the summit that relations with the United States are at their lowest point in years.
Asked about Biden calling him a killer in an interview in March, Putin said he had heard dozens of such accusations.
“This is not something I worry about in the least,” Putin said.
The White House has said Biden will bring up ransomware attacks emanating from Russia, Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, the jailing of dissidents and other issues that have irritated the relationship.
Biden has said that the United States is not seeking a conflict with Russia, but that Washington will respond in a robust way if Moscow engages in harmful activities.
Russia says the West is gripped by anti-Russian hysteria and that it will defend its interests in any way it see fit.