Biden says NATO leaders 'thanked me' for setting up meeting with Putin
President Biden. Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images
President Biden did not want to reveal any further details on Monday about his upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, telling reporters he would discuss the topics of the conversation "when it is over".
Biden and Putin will meet in Switzerland on Wednesday. Answering questions from reporters after meeting NATO leaders in Brussels, he avoided answering what he expected from Putin or would make any concessions. Biden said he spoke to other NATO leaders who "thanked me for meeting Putin now. They felt it was perfectly appropriate for me to do so."
While Biden is keeping his mother public, during the recent G7 summit in the UK - including German Chancellor Angela Merkel - he asked several heads of state and government for their advice ahead of the Putin meeting, people familiar with the matter told CNN. Biden has also spent time each day preparing with Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and they talked about Biden, who raised with Putin everything from cyber attacks to situations in Syria and Ukraine.
US officials told CNN they were still working out with their Russian counterparts whether there would be a face-to-face meeting between Biden and Putin during the summit, with no notes present; from now on there will be two separate meetings. There will be no joint press conference at the close of the summit, and Biden will speak to reporters alone. Officials told CNN that Russia requested a joint appearance in front of the press, but the US doesn't want Putin to have a chance to appear like he defeated an American president. On Sunday, Biden said this was "not a competition about who can do better or try to embarrass each other" before a press conference.
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