Holding High-Stakes Summit
Aviator sunglasses have always been his favourite. His eyes were covered with Aviators when he recently met Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle ahead of the G7 Summit. US President Joe Biden gifted his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Concorde-style Aviators worn by the US Army personnel. It usually takes 200 steps over six weeks to manufacture the Concorde-style sunglasses that have been named after the 20th Century supersonic aircraft. President Putin also received a bison statue made of crystal when the two leaders met at historic Lakeside Villa in Geneva on June 16, 2021. However, an atmosphere of discomfort was there, even after the Aviator Diplomacy!
Shortly after holding the closed-door meeting with President Biden in Switzerland, the Russian strongman questioned the legitimacy behind the arrests of the perpetrators of the January attack on the Capitol Hill, after also having mentioned that he was not interested in talking about the protests staged by the Oppositions in Russia, as he did not discuss the Black Lives Matter Movements in the US, with President Biden.
Speaking at a press conference, Putin stressed: “What we saw was disorder, destruction, violations of the law, etc. We feel sympathy for the United States of America, but we don’t want that to happen on our territory, and we’re doing our utmost in order to not allow it to happen.” He added: “Look at American streets… people are getting killed there… you can get a bullet in the neck. As for who is killing whom or are throwing whom in jail, people came to the US Congress with political demands. Over 400 people had criminal charges placed on them. They face prison sentences of up to 28, maybe even 25 years. They’re being called domestic terrorists.” Experts are of the opinion that Putin raised Capitol Hill issue in an attempt to avoid attack on Russian opposition leader Alexei Anatolievich Navalny and his imprisonment.
Interestingly, Putin waxed philosophically when asked about the future of US-Russia relations, stating: “There’s no happiness in life. There’s only a mirage on the horizon, so, we’ll cherish that.” Meanwhile, President Biden rejected his Russian counterpart’s ridiculous comparison between Capitol Hill rioters and Navalny.
Just a day after Biden-Putin meeting, the Kremlin expressed serious concern over Ukraine’s accession to NATO. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Dmitry Sergeyevich Peskov told a media conference that it would be “very uncomfortable” for Russia, if a neighbouring country became a member of NATO. The border dispute between Russia and Ukraine has escalated in recent times. It was President Biden who first called President Putin to urge him to normalise the border situation. He also made it clear to Kiev that Ukraine would have to meet certain conditions in order to become part of NATO. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, too, expressed dissatisfaction with Biden’s decision to meet President Putin without informing him. Perhaps, it would be difficult for President Biden to balance his ties with the former Soviet States in the coming days.
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