Joe Biden lands in Geneva under tight security ahead of 5-hour Putin summit

President Joe Bien landed in Geneva on Tuesday hours before he was set to hold summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid heightened security and deep cracks in US-Russian relations.

The men are expected to meet until five on Wednesday, joining in a luxurious villa without the luxury of food. “No breaking of the bread,” a senior administration official told reporters while sketching out the details.

It was the latest signal that the summit meeting will be all about business, without some of the goodwill gestures and pre-planned events that characterize more stable relationships.

The White House “does not expect a large number of deliverables”, although the Russian side on Tuesday raised the prospect of a joint statement.

When asked at the top of a meeting with Swiss President Guy Parmelin if he was ready to meet with Putin, Biden replied: “I am always ready.”

In a summit meeting where image and posture feature in power diplomacy, Biden landed on Tuesday afternoon, then took his time on the tarmac before descending a catwalk to tour with greetings.

Before entering his bulletproof vehicle, he wore his familiar aviator glasses, which he also kept for his meeting with the Queen.

President Joe Biden leaves Air Force One after arriving in Geneva where he will hold summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Swiss President Guy Parmelin welcomes US President Joe Biden at Cointrin airport

Biden then slowly entered “the Beat,” where he was to be driven to his luxury hotel via a motorcade in a town taking new security measures for the summit.

A member of the Swiss army was spotted with a large long gun; a group of camouflage-clad special forces could be seen packed into pneumatic motor boats speeding up amid pleasure craft and swans in Lake Geneva.

The mechanics of the historic summit are still drooling. Putin will arrive first, around 1 p.m. local time, where he will meet Swiss President Guy Parmelin before Biden does the same, an administration official told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Swiss Federal President Guy Parmelin awaits US President Joe Biden. The two men will meet formally on Wednesday

Biden’s visit comes at the end of an eight-day trip

Biden took his time with the hosts after getting off the presidential plane

Swiss police special forces ride a motorboat on Lake Geneva not far from where US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet on June 15, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland

Security increased on Tuesday ahead of the summit

In a second larger meeting, each president will have five assistants present.

Photographers will have the opportunity to capture footage of the two seated together – but it’s unclear whether they will speak.

From a US perspective, “nothing is excluded,” said the official, who echoed Biden’s comments on what would happen if there were continued state-led hacking incidents. “We will respond,” the official said.

The meeting comes after days of remarks by the two leaders ahead of the event, which overshadowed Biden’s meetings with European allies in Britain and Brussels.

The Russians expect an unrestricted conversation, after Biden telegraphed that he would raise controversial issues such as cyber-hacking, election interference and human rights.

President Joe Bien landed in Geneva on Wednesday hours before meeting at the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov told reporters in Moscow on Tuesday that even the treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny was something his side anticipated.

“As I told you, presidents can raise any subject. You and I understand that the American side is likely to raise the issue [of Navalny]. We are seeing a lot of signals related to this topic, especially from the UK and Brussels. Of course, they will raise this, ”Ushakov said.

“Presidents can raise any issue, including Belarus. I do not exclude that the Americans may raise the issue, especially since they have discussed it with allies.

Putin also said he was open to discussing a prisoner swap involving two former US Marines jailed in Russia: Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed.

Geneva police motorcycle riders pose for photos ahead of the arrival of US President Joe Biden and members of his delegation at Geneva Airport in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, a day before the summit United States – Russia

When Biden and Putin meet for a “direct” conversation with his “worthy adversary,” the two will sit for their summit meeting in an ornate 18th-century villa on the shore of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

The two men are expected to meet in Geneva at the Villa de la Grange, a building with a long history located near the luxury hotel where Biden resides. With its well-stocked Empire libraries, trompe-l’oeil ceilings and colorful rose garden, the building and grounds offer plenty of opportunities for photo ops and small discussions.

Biden and Putin have met before, although the conversations haven’t always gone smoothly. Biden claims he once told Putin that he “has no soul”. Putin, in a recent interview with Biden, spoke of The character of Donald Trump, then called Biden a career politician. But Biden did his best at a press conference in Brussels on Monday when he refused to call Putin a “killer.”

In choosing a well-appointed Geneva villa for the summit, diplomats were taking a page from the 1985 summit between Ronald Reagan and Michael Gorbachev, where a photograph of the two men in front of a fireplace set the tone for the serious arms control discussions that would follow.

President Joe Biden to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Villa de la Grange in Geneva

The Reagan and Gorbachev summits set a framework for how powerful adversaries can find reserved areas for negotiation and agreement, even in the midst of larger disputes.

“The optics are nice. You can’t really imagine the two meeting like a sauna or a Burger King, ”said Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington.

“Usually villas have land. This gives you a safe perimeter. They are often on the water, ”he added. “And they have enough rooms for you to have staff nearby at your disposal.” So that’s usually why it’s in a villa.

The two men are expected to meet for four to five hours, Bloomberg reported, with assistants saying they will meet in a smaller and larger meeting with staff. Meetings are expected to begin in the afternoon, according to a schedule Biden kept throughout his trip to Britain and Brussels.

As the host city, the Swiss authorities provide the neutral venue. They also brought an anti-aircraft gun, installed concertina wire, and took other precautions around town for the summit.

The meeting is linked to an eight-day trip in which Biden sought advice from Allied leaders on how to fight Putin.

Both men attending the summit have a taste for the good life, although Biden’s relatively modest $ 3 million Delaware beach house and classic Corvette Sting Ray might not meet Putin’s standards. Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny claims Putin is the owner of a billion-dollar Black Sea palace that was built for him. The Kremlin denies it.

The Swiss villa was built between 1768 and 1773 by a prominent Lullin family, but banker Jean Lullin had to part with it after its finances deteriorated after the Geneva Revolution – a push to expand the franchise which was clamped down by weapons troops. He sold it to an industrialist born in Marseille who, like the successive owners, made changes and additions, before it finally ended up in the hands of the city of Geneva, according to information on the villa. provided by the city.

Study time: Biden met with Russian experts and refined his talking points with key personnel. The library of Villa La Grange presents some of the 14,000 volumes it held

The building was built in the 18th century and modified by families of bankers and merchants

A boat with police officers patrols along the shore of Lake Geneva near “Villa La Grange” in Geneva, Switzerland Monday June 14, 2021

The villa is located on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)

Large guns: Swiss army anti-aircraft gun on the shore of Lake Geneva near Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 14, 2021

The tranquil setting could be a remedy to reset a relationship Biden and Putin have described as being at a “low point.”

“I think he’s right, that’s a low point, and it depends on how he reacts to acting consistently with international standards, which he hasn’t done in many cases,” Biden said.

The topics on the table are deadly serious: nuclear weapons, Russian electoral interference, ransomware attacks, the invasion of Ukraine, a potential prisoner swap, and the treatment of political prisoners in Russia included the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

A town official did not say whether the two men would end up in the villa’s library, the library, which was created with two rooms of the 12,000 volumes available.

“We have no information on where the presidents will meet,” the official told, speaking in French.

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev share jokes about a break from the Geneva summit in 1985. The two met in a different villa which is now for sale

Biden hopes to elevate the United States and Russia to a more stable and predictable level

The room contains books in languages ​​such as Turkish, Persian, Chinese, Hungarian and various Germanic languages, after summit meetings where the White House said Biden would meet with dozens of foreign leaders.

The meeting is unlikely to have any happy moments after the Helsinki summit, such as when Putin presented Donald Trump with a soccer ball (which was later found to pose security concerns since Adidas inserted a chip electronics inside).

“At the end of the day, I think the best way to deal with this is for him and I to meet, for him and I to chat – I know you have no doubt that I will be very candid with him about our concerns,” Biden said ahead of the summit, calling Putin a “worthy opponent” on Monday.

The Reagan-Gorbachev summit in 1985 was held at Villa Fleur d’Eau, a newer mansion built in the 19th-century villa. This building has 26 rooms and is now for sale. ‘

According to a real estate listing, it has been “completely converted to office space” with “top quality materials and is in what could be considered new condition” and is occupied by a global trading company.

“However, the building could just as easily be converted back into a dwelling.”

Comments are closed.