President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are currently not expected to hold a joint news conference after their June 16 meeting, CNN reported.
Biden and Putin’s much-anticipated meeting comes on the heels of the 2021 G-7 summit. The duo will speak for the first time since Biden took office in Geneva, Switzerland. Two U.S. officials familiar with the matter told CNN that plans currently don’t include a joint press conference.
This would mark a change from Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump, who met with Putin on June 16, 2018, and held a joint press conference afterwards. The details of this particular summit are still being hashed out, though – and likely will be until just before the event begins – so plans could change, according to CNN.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN that Putin is willing to hold a joint press conference, but added that they aren’t expecting one to happen.
“We heard about such a possibility from our American counterparts, but we are still waiting for final confirmation,” he reportedly said.
The administration has given reporters a small glimpse into topics expected to be discussed during Biden’s meeting with Putin. The American president will press Putin on recent hacking attacks against U.S. companies that originated from Russia-based hacking groups. Biden is also looking “to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki previously noted.
Still, Biden is keeping most details private. When asked for his message to Putin on Friday, Biden said he would give up that information after speaking with the Russian president.
“I’ll tell you after I deliver it,” Biden said at the G-7 summit.
Although the joint press conference seems unlikely to happen, Biden wants to speak to reporters afterwards, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said, according to CNN.
“He does want to have an opportunity after that meeting to read it out and speak about his impressions and what he sees as the way forward,” Sullivan explained.
Relations between the U.S. and Russia as struggling. The U.S. previously finalized sanctions on Russia after multiple incidents, including its decision to jail opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Biden hasn’t been entirely silent on his feelings about the Russian president either, calling him a “killer” in March.
In retaliation, Putin recalled Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. just hours later. More recently, Russia warned America and said it should expect “uncomfortable” signals leading up to Biden and Putin’s meeting. (RELATED: Putin Blasts US As Hypocritical Ahead Of Meeting With Biden, Points To Prosecution Of Capitol Rioters)
“The Americans must assume that a number of signals from Moscow … will be uncomfortable for them, including in the coming days,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said according to RIA news agency, Reuters reported.
Biden said the trip “is about realizing America’s renewed commitment to our allies and partners,” according to an op-ed published by The Washington Post prior to his trip.
“Whether it is ending the COVID-19 pandemic everywhere, meeting the demands of an accelerating climate crisis, or confronting the harmful activities of the governments of China and Russia, the United States must lead the world from a position of strength,” the president wrote.