Biden agrees with Putin that US-Russia relations are at ‘low point’

US president reasserts that sit-down meeting best course with Russia’s leader

John Bowden
Sunday 13 June 2021 16:56
Biden says US not seeking 'conflict' with Russia
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President Joe Biden agreed with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s assessment that relations between the US and his country are at a historically “low point” on Sunday when questioned on the issue by reporters at the G7.

During a press conference on Sunday following meetings with leaders including prime minister Boris Johnson and French president Emmanuel Macron, Mr Biden explained that he still believed that confronting Mr Putin face-to-face in a private meeting was the best course for dealing with issues that have divided the two Cold War superpowers.

“I think the best way to deal with this is for he and I to meet,” Mr Biden told reporters. Afterwards, he said, “I will make my clear of how that meeting turned out,” as will Mr Putin.

Of Russia, Mr Biden continued: “We are not looking for conflict. We are looking to resolve those issues we think are at odds with international norms.”

The president was also asked by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy whether the US would be open to a cyber criminal exchange with the Russian government, and responded affirmatively while qualifying that “if there have been crimes committed against Russia,” then the US would cooperate with investigations.

In later questions, the US leader was asked about his administration’s approach to China issues, prompting Mr Biden to assert that democracies around the world were out to prove that they could remain competitive and dominant amid the rise of autocratic forms of government.

“I think we’re in a contest, not with China per se, but a contest with autocrats...[to determine] whether or not democracies can compete with them in the 21st century,” Mr Biden said.

The grandchildren of current generations, he predicted, will ask, “are democracies as relevant and as powerful that they have been?”

The Q&A session Sunday was Mr Biden’s second solo press conference since taking office in January.

Sunday concluded the final day of G7 meetings and precludes the president’s trip to Brussels, where he will join with several of the same leaders and other US allies for a NATO summit.

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