Shafaq News/ U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin square up on Wednesday for their first meeting since Biden took office with deep disagreements likely and expectations low for any breakthroughs.
Both have said they hope their talks in a lakeside Geneva villa can lead to more stable and predictable relations, even though they remain at odds over everything from arms control and cyber-hacking to election interference and Ukraine.
Relations have deteriorated for years, notably with Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, its 2015 intervention in Syria and U.S. charges - denied by Moscow - of its meddling in the 2016 election that brought Donald Trump to the White House. Reuters stated.
They sank further in March when Biden said he thought Putin was a "killer", prompting Russia to recall its ambassador to Washington for consultations. The United States recalled its ambassador in April.
Arms control is one domain where progress has historically been possible despite wider disagreements.
In February, Russia and the United States extended for five years the New START treaty, which caps their deployed strategic nuclear warheads and limits the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.
In a sign of the strained ties, the talks will not include any meals and Putin and Biden are expected to hold separate news conferences rather than a joint one.
Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat, told Reuters Putin wanted respectful ties and to be treated like members of the Soviet Politburo were in the 1960s-1980s, with "a symbolic recognition of Russia's geopolitical parity with the U.S."
"In exchange, they (Moscow) would be willing to cut back on some of the loony stuff," Frolov said, saying he meant "no poisonings, no physical violence, no arrests/kidnappings of U.S. and Russian nationals. No interference in domestic politics."