American President, Joe Biden is meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Wednesday in a summit freighted with history and fraught with new challenges.
Mr. Putin, who flew in from Sochi, Russia, arrived first for the meeting, which is taking place in an 18th-century Swiss villa perched above Lake Geneva. A short time later, Mr. Biden’s motorcade pulled up — Russian, American and Swiss flags waving in the breeze under a blue sky — with the United States entourage.
The two leaders were greeted by President Guy Parmelin of Switzerland, who welcomed them to Geneva, “the city of peace.”
“I wish you both presidents a fruitful dialogue in the interest of your two countries and the world,” he said.
Joe Biden turned to Mr. Putin, holding out his hand; Mr. Putin took a step toward him and shook it. They then moved into an ornate library, where both men sat stone-faced and mostly in silence as members of the news media jostled to get into the room.
“I would like to thank you for the initiative to meet today,” Mr. Putin told Mr. Biden. “Still, U.S.-Russian relations have accumulated a lot of issues that require a meeting at the highest level, and I hope that our meeting will be productive.”
Mr. Biden said a few words before the camera crews were ushered out and the leaders moved into private sessions that could stretch for five hours. The two sides will engage in difficult topics ranging from military threats to human rights concerns.
During the Cold War, the prospect of nuclear annihilation led to historic treaties and a framework that kept the world from blowing itself up. At this meeting, for the first time, cyberweapons — with their own huge potential to wreak havoc — are at the center of the agenda.
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