The White House says President Joe Biden will hold a solo news conference after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two delegations will have a working session and smaller session as part of their meeting. But the White House says it is still finalising the format of the meeting.
The White House says a news conference with only Biden is the appropriate format to communicate with the “free press" on the topics discussed, areas of agreement and sources of significant concern. “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.