GENEVA (NewsNation Now) — Russia and the United States are planning for a first meeting between the two countries’ leaders as the relationship between the two regions is increasingly fraught.
About 36 hours away from a bilateral meeting, typically both sides lay the groundwork with diplomatic niceties.
Instead, the pregame between the U.S. and Russia is a long list of grievances from the leaders of the two world superpowers. Both sides agree though that U.S.-Russian relations are not good at the moment.
“What I’ll convey to Putin, not look for conflict, but we will respond if it continues its harmful activities, said President Joe Biden at a NATO press conference event Monday.
Biden said, however, that Putin is “bright” and “tough” and expressed hopes the Russian president would show interest in “changing the perception the world has of him.”
Meanwhile, Putin came out swinging against accusations that Russian hackers were behind the recent attacks that crippled American infrastructure.
“We have been accused of all kinds of things: election interference, cyber attacks, and so on and so forth. And not once, not one time. Did they bother to produce any kind of evidence or proof? Just unfounded accusations,” said Putin in an interview with NBC.
Nor does Putin seem concerned with Biden’s embracing of NATO or stated threats that America will retaliate.
“I’m not afraid. But I bear in mind that it is a possibility,” Putin told NBC.
Putin turned a question from NBC about the poisoning and imprisoning of anti-Putin journalist Alexei Navalny into a critique on the reaction to the Jan. 6 capital riot
“They came to the Congress with political demands. Isn’t that persecution for political opinions?” said Putin.
Russian observers say Biden and Putin are playing different games. They say Biden still lives by the rules of international norms while Putin clearly does not.