• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Putin says 'there is no happiness in life' after his meeting with Biden

·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden smiling and shaking hands.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden at the Villa la Grange in Geneva on Wednesday before their summit. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a dark tone after his private chat with President Joe Biden.

  • He called talks "productive" but laid blame for the adversarial US-Russia relationship on the US.

  • "There's no happiness in life," Putin said. "There's only a mirage on the horizon."

  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a dark tone during his lengthy, rambling press conference following nearly four hours of talks with President Joe Biden in Geneva on Wednesday.

Asked whether the meeting had helped build trust between the leaders, Putin turned philosophical.

"There's no happiness in life," Putin said. "There's only a mirage on the horizon, so we'll cherish that."

He added, "but I believe there's a spark of hope" in Biden's eyes.

The Russian leader told reporters it was "difficult to say" whether the meeting would change relations between the two countries and blamed the US for the adversarial nature of the ties. But Putin called Biden a "balanced and professional man" and said their discussions were "productive."

Read more: Matt Gaetz's former staffers are scrubbing their résumés of all links to the congressman

"Everything to do with the deterioration of our mutual relations was initiated not by us but by the USA," he said.

Putin is a former KGB operative who has ruled Russia for 20 years, during which time he's believed to have become a billionaire; some guess he's one of the world's richest people. Certainly, his reported taste for expensive watches, yachts, and fleets of aircraft would be far out of reach for most Russians, who earn an average monthly wage of about 51,100 rubles, or $700.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Putin spent much of the press conference deflecting criticism of Russia over its remarkable crackdown on dissent and the poisoning and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny.

The Russian leader justified the Kremlin's effort to squash opponents by demonizing the Black Lives Matter movement and comparing it to the US government's prosecution of people involved in the January 6 insurrection.

When questioned about these remarks later during a separate solo press conference, Biden said, "That's a ridiculous comparison."

Both leaders generally portrayed the talks as a first, modest step in making progress on a narrow set of issues that the US and Russia might see eye-to-eye on - with strategic stability (nuclear-arms control) at the top of the list.

But they also made clear the summit in no way represented a total reset of US-Russia relations.

Putin said Biden did not use the meeting as an opportunity to invite him to the White House, while Biden said he was "not confident" the Kremlin would drastically change its behavior.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting