Biden, Putin launch high-stakes summit in Geneva
President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin shook hands on Wednesday outside the 18th-century Swiss villa that will host their highly anticipated summit meeting in Geneva – eyes closed and appearing to exchange brief pleasantries before jumping into the meeting. most important diplomatic mission of Biden’s Young Presidency.
Biden and Putin flanked Swiss President Guy Parmelin at the front door of the historic Villa La Grange as Parmelin introduced the two leaders, who remained stone-faced before greeting each other and entering the huge estate located on the shores of Lake Geneva.
Biden and Putin were seen again minutes later, sitting next to their respective countries’ top diplomats inside what appeared to be a vast library within the villa. Their remarks were difficult to understand despite the uproar from gathered journalists, but Putin – joined by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – thanked Biden “for the initiative to meet today” and said he hoped that their meeting “will be productive”.