Biden threatens 'devastating consequences' as he gives Putin 3-month deadline to improve

3 mins read

The US President arrived in Geneva ahead of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This meeting marked Mr Biden’s first meeting with Mr Putin since becoming US President in January.

It comes almost a week after he attended the G7 summit in the UK and met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Following his meeting with the Russian President, Mr Biden was asked how relations between Moscow and Washington would be affected in Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny died in prison.

Mr Putin has refused to guarantee Mr Navalny’s safety in prison.

Mr Biden told reporters: “I made it clear to him the consequences would be devastating for Russia.”

The US President also said there was a genuine prospect to improve relations with Russia.

He said Washington will look back in “three to six months” to assess the progress.

Mr Biden also reassured there were no threats during the meeting.

Mr Putin said Moscow and Washington had agreed to launch nuclear arms control talks to build on the New START treaty, a cornerstone of global arms control.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Putin said the two sides were aware of their special responsibility for global strategic stability and the important role of the treaty, extended by the two countries at the eleventh hour earlier this year.

He said: “I think it is clear to everyone that President Biden has made the responsible and, in our view, perfectly timely decision to extend the New START treaty for five years, which means until 2024.

“Of course, that begs the question of what happens next.”

He said arms control discussions would be launched and held at the inter-agency level.

The two parties also adopted a joint declaration, reaffirming their commitment to the principle “that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it must never be fought,” the document, shared on the Kremlin website, said.

Signed in 2010, the New START treaty limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers that Russia and the United States can deploy.

Due to expire earlier this year, the deal was extended by Moscow and Washington in January and February respectively, for five more years.

The treaty restricts the United States and Russia to deploying no more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads each.

More to follow…

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