Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold their summit on June 16 in an 18th-century Swiss villa overlooking Lake Geneva, a relaxing setting for what promise to be heated talks.
However, the US President’s first overseas trip since entering the White House got off to an unfavorable start, when he was attacked by a cicada before boarding Air Force One bound for the UK on Wednesday morning. , ready to begin your visit abroad by attending the G7. meeting in Cornwall.
Biden took it lightly, as he prepared to take off for Europe as he left his national legislative agenda against a brick wall after the collapse on Tuesday of the latest bipartisan talks on infrastructure spending. Republicans are also refusing to participate in radical voting rights reform, prompting moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to retain support as well.
Biden will meet with Boris Johnson to discuss the UK-US relationship and he and Jill Biden will meet with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle on Sunday.
On Wednesday morning, cicadas could be seen buzzing through the air at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Biden and the first lady were crossing the runway to the Air Force One jumbo after a helicopter ride from the White House.
A few weeks ago a large number of cicadas emerged on the east coast of the United States and in some Midwestern states after 17 years underground, and the insects are creating news of all kinds and now at the highest level of American power. .
The press corps was delayed five hours when insects filled the engine of its plane before flying on Tuesday night to cover Biden’s trip to the UK for the G7 meeting, a visit to Brussels for a NATO summit and a meeting with Putin in Switzerland in which he is expected to raise security issues and cyber attacks on US entities by criminal gangs based in Russia and the region.
On Wednesday morning, Biden was chatting with members of the military escorting him between planes when he slapped him hard on the neck. Then, moving closer to address reporters, Biden said, laughing, “Watch out for the cicadas. I have one.”
When asked about his goal for the overseas trip, Biden said he was “strengthening the alliance,” probably referring to both the Group of Seven (G7) powers and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
That goal, he said, was “to make it clear to Putin and China that Europe and the United States are united.” He said he did not know whether talking to Putin about harboring cybercriminals in Russia would produce a deal, in a context in which the United States faces a growing threat of foreign ransomware attacks.
Bitter disputes over election interference, cyberattacks, human rights and Ukraine loom over the first face-to-face meeting with Putin since Biden took office on January 20.
Strategic nuclear stability and regional conflicts will also be on the table.
Meanwhile, diplomatic sources await confirmation from the Geneva headquarters later on Wednesday. The Swiss police and army have closed the two parks surrounding Villa La Grange and installed barricades and barbed wire.
Neutral Switzerland, which did not join Western sanctions against Russia over its 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, lobbied hard for the first great-power summit in the Alpine country in decades.
In the cold war era, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev held their first summit in Geneva in November 1985 and agreed to seek cuts in US and Soviet nuclear arsenals.
In Geneva in 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a yellow box with a red “reset” button to symbolize improved ties under the presidency of Russia. Barack Obama. But the word “reboot” was mistranslated to the Russian word for “overload,” creating an awkward moment.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Lavrov will accompany Biden and Putin.
The villa is located in a park along the left shore of the lake. Dotted with redwoods, rose bushes and ancient fountains, the park offers a breathtaking view of Lake Geneva and sailboats.
Biden is also scheduled to hold talks with Swiss President Guy Parmelin.
Switzerland has represented US interests in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, often facilitating the transfer of prisoners between the two enemies.
Tax problems are likely to arise after Biden referred to Switzerland as a “tax haven” in April.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism