Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that his summit with President Biden was “constructive,” and that the countries had agreed their ambassadors would imminently return to their posts in Moscow and Washington.
What he’s saying: “Many of our joint positions are divergent but nevertheless I think both sides manifested a determination to try and understand each other and try and converge our positions,” Putin told reporters at a press conference immediately following the meetings, according to a translator.
- Putin said the sides had agreed to open “consultations” on cyber hacking, which he said was critically important. He also claimed most cyberattacks currently taking place were being carried out from the U.S.
- Putin praised Biden’s decision to agree to extend the New START nuclear treaty, and said the U.S. State Department and Russia Foreign Ministry would be opening working level discussions on “the whole question of what will happen after that” on nuclear security.
- Putin said the leaders had discussed Ukraine, but did not offer any details or conclusions on that subject.
- Asked about Alexei Navalny, Putin refused to say the jailed Kremlin critic’s name and attacked him for knowingly “breaking the law” by leaving Russia to receive treatment after his poisoning. The U.S. intelligence has assessed that Russian security services were responsible for Navalny’s attempted assassination.
- Putin said he and Biden discussed human rights and noted that Biden’s “predecessor” — Donald Trump — had a “different view” on the matter. He went on to attack the U.S. for its own human rights record, pointing to Guantanamo Bay and gun violence.
What’s next: Biden will be holding a press conference after Putin concludes.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.