The Kremlin is seeking to temper expectations for next month’s summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden but notes the meeting’s importance amid soaring tensions between their countries.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warns against anticipating a “reset” after the June 16 summit in Geneva, emphasizing that differences between Moscow and Washington run too deep.
“It’s obvious that the negative potential that has accumulated in our bilateral relations has some inertia,” Peskov says during a conference call with reporters. “So it’s hard to expect that it would be possible to reach understanding on deep disagreements during just one first meeting.”
Russia’s ties with the United States and its allies have sunk to post-Cold War lows over Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, its’ support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, Moscow’s interference with elections, hacking attacks and other irritants. The Kremlin has denied wrongdoing and denounced Western sanctions as an attempt to constrain Russia’s development.
“I would caution against having excessive expectations regarding results of the meeting, but proceed from the assumption that the event is very important in practical terms,” Peskov says. “It would be wrong to downplay the importance of the meeting.”