Biden discusses human rights, cyberattacks with Putin in Geneva

WION Web Team
GenevaUpdated: Jun 17, 2021, 02:12 PM IST
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US President Joe Biden (L) has warned Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin of serious consequences if Ukraine is attacked. Photograph:(WION Web Team)

Story highlights

On Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Putin said: "Navalny knew he was violating the law when he did not report about his whereabouts as he returned to Russia after treatment"

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at Geneva for the much-awaited summit talks on Wednesday. 


After meeting for over three and half hours, the two leaders addressed a press conference separately.

The Russian president was the first to address reporters as he informed that a possible prisoner swap with the US was likely and it was discussed with President Biden and that "compromises" may be possible.

The Russian president informed that the two leaders had agreed their ambassadors should return to their respective positions in each other's capital although he added that the timeline is yet to be decided.

Putin said Russia and the US had agreed to "consultations on cybersecurity".

"Russia faces the same cyberthreats as the US, including attacks on the Russian healthcare system," Putin said.

However, Biden told the Russian president that critical infrastructure must be "off-limits" to cyberattacks.

On the question of trade relations, Putin said "all depends on the US, we did not introduce restrictions."

The Russian president compared Russia's jailing of political opponents to the arrests of rioters during the US capitol January 6 attacks.

On the question of human rights, Putin brought up Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, gun violence as "evidence" of US human rights failures.

"In American cities, people are killed every day. Let’s talk about Afghanistan - one bombing and 120 people are killed, clearly civilians," the Russian president told reporters.

“Who bears responsibility for this, who’s the killer?”

On Russian opposition leader Navalny, Putin said: "Navalny knew he was violating the law when he did not report about his whereabouts as he returned to Russia after treatment."

"Navalny came back to Russia because he wanted to break the law, so what discussion should we have?"

Biden while addressing reporters said he told the Russian president that he will "not tolerate" interference in US democracy while declaring that the "last thing he wants now is a Cold War".

The US President said Putin had made "ridiculous" comparisons on human rights.

Biden reacted sharply to Putin's remark on the US Capitol riots on January 6, saying: "That's a ridiculous comparison. It's one thing for literally criminals to break through a cordon, go into the Capitol, kill a police officer and be held accountable, than it is for people objecting, marching on the Capitol and saying you are not allowing me to speak freely."