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Russian, US leaders may agree on secondary issues during Geneva summit, says expert

SHANGHAI, June 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden may come to a consensus on secondary issues during the upcoming meeting in Geneva, which may be the beginning of the renewed dialogue between both states, Sun Chenghao, a researcher with the Institute of American Studies of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations stated, quoted by China News Service.

According to the expert, certain analysts predict that both leaders may come to an understanding on a number of secondary issues, including climate change, and the fight against the pandemic. “The US and Russia may come to a consensus in these spheres. Through these secondary issues, they may begin to build or recover dialogue. I think that this is the main goal of the meeting,” the Chinese expert said.

Sun Chenghao admitted that the meeting would take place against the backdrop of ongoing “Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments” in the US, as well as Biden’s inability to conduct a softer policy on Russia than his predecessor Donald Trump over accusations against Russia of it being involved in the US election and hacker attacks. However, the expert notes, Russia is also unable to adopt a softer position due to the diplomatic and sanctions pressure of the US.

According to the news agency, Sun Chenghao also pointed out the symbolism of Biden meeting Putin after the G7 and NATO summits in Europe, which is meant to show Russia that the Western world is united when it comes to security issues, ideological values and economic cooperation. Thus, the US wants to demonstrate with this meeting that it is not only Washington that is talking to Moscow, it is the entire European world. Besides, a meeting with Putin right after the G7 and NATO summits will help the US avoid the distrust of its European partners over any potential secret agreements with Russia, the expert pointed out.

The Chinese expert noted that sanctions remain a key issue in Russian-US relations. However, according to him, the US Congress is unlikely to lift the sanctions in the conditions of anti-Russian sentiments in the country, especially because the Biden government does not have many means of influence besides sanctions. Thus, the parties are unlikely to achieve a breakthrough on key issues during this summit, the expert concluded.

Earlier, the Kremlin and the White House announced that the much-awaited summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden would take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16. According to the Kremlin, the heads of state will discuss the conditions and prospects for further fostering Russian-US relations, strategic stability matters, as well as pressing issues on the international agenda, which include cooperation in fighting the pandemic and regulating regional conflicts. This will be the first face-to-face meeting between Putin and Biden since the 46th US president took office.

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