Parks La Grange and Eau Vive in Geneva were closed ahead of a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden, scheduled for June 16. Both parks, where the heads of state are expected to meet, are closed until June 18.
In the run-up to the summit, problems with public transportation began in Geneva. Some routes have changed, with announcements of restrictions or repair work.
The city has also already restricted traffic around La Grange Park, where the summit events could take place.
“I believe that the inconvenience of traffic will be minimized by a sense of hospitality,” commented Geneva Mayor Federica Perler.
Jake Sullivan, the U.S. president’s national security adviser, said that the meeting of the presidents will take place not in spite of the differences, but because of them, as there is much to work on.
Washington does not view the summit as an encouragement to Russia. It is necessary to protect U.S. interests, the statement said.
“Biden’s direct conversation with Putin is the best way to understand what Russia intends and plans to do,” the White House said, adding that face-to-face meetings between leaders, especially with Putin, are an indispensable format.
They also said that it would be important for Joe Biden to explain his position to Putin, and to hear the Russian leader’s point of view. The U.S. president intends to outline to Putin what Washington can do if Russia “acts perniciously.
Sullivan stressed that he expects the results of this meeting to be followed by orders in the field of strategic stability.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will be part of the U.S. delegation at the upcoming summit with Russia in Switzerland. This was reported by the press service of the State Department of the United States.
“He will attend President Biden’s bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva,” the statement said.
It is noted that Blinken will accompany White House head Joe Biden on his first tour, which begins in the United Kingdom and ends with a trip to Geneva to meet with Putin.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Sergei Lavrov may attend the Russia-U.S. summit.
“The format and composition have not yet been agreed upon. I assume that yes,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the press service.
The deputy foreign minister did not rule out that Russian and U.S. ambassadors Antonov and Sullivan would also attend the summit of Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.
“I cannot rule anything out, but I repeat that there is no final decision yet,” the politician added.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the department does not expect any breakthrough agreements at the Russia-U.S. summit.
“We do not have any exaggerated expectations, no illusions that there will be any breakthroughs. But there is an objective need for an exchange of opinions at the highest level on what threats Russia and the United States see as the two largest nuclear powers in the international arena,” the foreign minister said.
Lavrov also expressed hope that the U.S. will work on its past mistakes before the meeting. According to him, the U.S. side should evaluate Russia’s interests and position and its “red lines.
The minister also noted that the relations can be normalized only if “the principles of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs are observed. According to him, this is very important for relieving the accumulated tension between the U.S. and Russia.
Lavrov said Putin and Biden would discuss cyber security in Geneva. He stressed that Russia has no lack of goodwill on this issue.
“Even since 2016, when the Obama administration began accusing us of interfering in their elections, we have suggested dozens of times to sit down at the negotiating table – professional, trusting – and lay out concrete facts, concerns that both sides have, and the other side,” Lavrov said. However, he said, the U.S. side refused to negotiate.
The minister said that the meeting between the Russian and American leaders has no agreed agenda. The Russian side intends to recall the proposal about mutual visits of missile defense bases.