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Biden, Putin to meet in Geneva amid disagreements

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Joe Biden – for the first time in his presidency - will meet face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva next month

The Kremlin and the White House on Tuesday both confirmed the summit’s date - June 16 - and the sit-down comes amid sharp disputes over election interference, cyberattacks, human rights, and Ukraine.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki:

“This is how diplomacy works. We don’t work together, we don’t meet with people only when we agree. It’s actually important to meet with leaders when you have a range of disagreements, as we do with Russian leader [sic]”

The icy relations between the two leaders were on full display in March when Biden told ABC News he thought Putin was "a killer:"

REPORTER: “Does President Biden regret calling Vladimir Putin a killer?”

PSAKI: “No. The president gave a direct answer to a direct question.”

The Russian had a ready retort.

"And you know I remember in my childhood, when we argued in the courtyard we used to say: it takes one to know one.

Diplomats have since sought ways for the two rivals to work together. Last week Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Iceland.

“It's our view that if the leaders of Russia and the United States can work together cooperatively, our people, the world can be a safer and more secure place. And that's what we seek. Sergei, welcome, it's good to see you."

It won't be Biden's first handshake with Putin. The two met in 2011, when Biden was Vice President and Putin then Prime Minister.

And looking back at the last decade, the sentiment hasn't much changed.

BIDEN: "It's in our self-interest, and I hope in the self-interest of Russia, to have our relationships closer."

The Kremlin said in a statement that the two leaders would discuss bilateral ties, problems related to strategic nuclear stability, and cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.

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