After wrapping up a summit with US President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said that the US and Russian ambassadors will return to their diplomatic posts and take up their functions, adding that when that would happen is a “purely technical one”.
This is the first meeting of US President Joe Biden in a decade with the Russian president, whom he last met when Putin was prime minister and he was serving as vice president, in March of 2011.
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands, kicking off Geneva summit: AFP News Agency
(File photo) pic.twitter.com/TkvRwGEFcp
— ANI (@ANI) June 16, 2021
The summit is also the first meeting between US and Russian leaders since Putin met Donald Trump in Helsinki in 2018. The United States and Russia are going to begin consultations on cybersecurity, said Putin following his summit with US President Joe Biden.
“Both sides have to assume certain obligations there,” CNN quoted Putin as saying.
Putin had also discussed the matter of Ukraine with Biden. He said that as far as Ukraine joining NATO, “I don’t think there is anything to discuss there.”
Talking about the Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, Putin said that Navalny returned to Russia in order to be detained, knowing he had broken the law — again refusing to say the opposition activist’s name aloud, CNN reported.
“This man knew that he was breaking the law of Russia. He has been twice convicted,” Putin said.
Putin repeated said that Navalny had violated bail conditions by going abroad while unconscious after apparent Novichok poisoning last year, and failing to check in with Russian legal officers as required.
“He consciously ignored the requirements of the law,” Putin said. According to CNN, Putin further stated that “The gentleman in question went abroad for treatment. As soon as he went to the hospital he showed his videos on the internet … He wanted consciously to break the law. He did exactly what he wanted to do. So what kind of discussion can we be having [about him]?”
Meanwhile, Putin described the summit with Biden as “constructive.” He added that his meeting with Biden was “productive” on the whole. Both leaders have recently acknowledged a low point in relations between the two nations.