The White House is defending President Joe Biden’s upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva next week, saying it’s “vital” to protecting America’s interests.
“At the end of the day, what we are looking to do is for the two Presidents to be able to send a clear signal … to their teams on questions of strategic stability so we can make progress on arms control and other nuclear areas to reduce tension and instability in that aspect of their relationship,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said during Monday’s White House press briefing.
However, Sullivan seemed to lower expectations for the summit, telling reporters that “if you are going to wait for really significant deliverables, you could be waiting for a long time, conceivably.”
Earlier Monday, Biden held a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, extending an invitation to visit the White House in July that appeared to spike Zelensky’s request to meet ahead of next week’s Putin summit.
Zelensky also told reporters last week that he felt the lift on US sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline would be a victory for Russia and a personal loss for Biden.
Sullivan said that the US focus during the Putin summit is to “give us an opportunity to communicate from our President to thei