President Vladamir Putin’s remarks after a “constructive” meeting with President Biden on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
On Wednesday, after Biden and Putin’s relatively shorter than expected meeting, President Putin held his own press conference with the press
“Biden is an experienced statesman. Our one-on-one conversation took almost two hours” said Putin.
Putin stated that the two had a very “constructive” meeting. The Russian President made clear that there’s “no hostility” between the two leaders.
“Indeed, we have provided assessments on a number of issues, but both sides expressed their intention to understand each other and to seek common ground. Talks were quite constructive” stated Putin after the meeting.
Putin began the conference by announcing that the U.S and Russian ambassadors will return to their diplomatic posts. The President stated the timeline of this happening is “pure technicality.”
“I believe that both parties, including the United States, seek to find common ground and find solutions,” said Putin.
Putin expressed that he and Biden also discussed matters concerning Ukraine. When asked about Ukraine joining NATO he stated, “There’s nothing to discuss here.”
On the topic of cybersecurity, Putin expressed that U.S. sources claim that the majority of cyber-attacks are made “from the US territory, then the second one in Canada, then to Latin American states, and then the UK.” He makes clear that Russia is not listed in a ranking of countries that see the most significant number of cyber-attacks from their territory.
“We have received turn requests regarding cyber-attacks, attacks on the U.S. infrastructure as our colleagues put it, this cyber attacks are launched from the Russian territory and received two such requests this year,” stated Putin.
Putin expressed that the two leaders believe that the cybersecurity area is extremely important in the world at large for the United States, as well as for the Russian Federation, to the same extent.
Putin argued that Russia has also come under a number of cybersecurity attacks. “When it comes to one of the key Russian regions, and its healthcare system, and we see where these cyber attacks are launched from, we see that these attacks are coordinated from the United States territory” he stated.
Putin made clear that the two countries agreed to work together to continue and follow through on “cybersecurity and strategic stability.”
On the topic of human rights, Putin seemingly deflected answering questions about currently detained Russian lawyer Alexey Navalny, by changing the subject to matters of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“America has just recently gone through the well grievous chain of events after a certain African American individual was killed, and an entire movement, the Black Lives Matter movement appeared.”
He continued saying, “I’m not going to go into details, I will spare you. But we’ve seen pogroms we’ve seen, you know, looting and violations and riots. We sympathize with the Americans, but we do not want the same thing to happen on the Russian soil and we’ll do anything possible to prevent this, and it’s not about me fearing anything.”
When asked again about Navalny, Putin changed the subject to the matter of the January 6 insurrection.
“People went into the US Congress with political demands. 400 people are now facing criminal charges. They are facing prison terms of up to 20 maybe 25 years, they are called homegrown terrorists. They are being accused of many other things. 70 people were arrested, right there on the spot. 30 of them are still arrested,” he said.
Putin added that he “sympathizes” with the United States but he doesn’t want the same thing to happen in Russia.
In response to a reporter asking him about Biden’s remarks of him having “no soul” years ago, Putin stated, “To be honest I don’t remember such conversation, but I assume that this could have happened.” Ten years later after Biden made that statement, the Russian President expressed that Biden is a “constructive person, well balanced, and an experienced seasoned politician.”
Putin claimed that both he and Biden defend the national interests of their countries, and their relationship is always based on pragmatism.
Putin admitted that he does believe “It is realistic at this stage to reach a new level of relationship.” However, President Putin declared that all actions related to the deterioration of the Russia-U.S. relations were initiated by the U.S. and not by Russia.
All in all, the Russian President believed the meeting was “productive.” “It was fruitful, it was to the point to place in that atmosphere that was actually enabling us to create, to achieve, to accomplish something. And the most important thing is the glimpses of confidence and hope that we had,” said Putin.
White House officials made clear they are not surprised by Putin’s response at his press conference. President Biden went into the meeting knowing he wouldn’t change much of Putin’s behaviors or stances.