Biden meets for his very first talks as president with the Russian leader on Wednesday, in what's anticipated to be roughly a half-day of discussions between the two leaders and aides behind closed doors. That's after spending a lot of a weeklong European trip -- the foreign policy highlight of his presidency so much -- working to fortify ties with like-minded partner nations in order to better deal with rivals Russia and China.
A reporter shortly after Biden's coming in Geneva on Tuesday shouted out a question on whether he had been prepared for Wednesday's discussions. "I'm always prepared," Biden replied.
The American leader reached Geneva following rounds of cordial elbow bumping, grinning photo sessions and close consultations with global leaders at the Group of Seven, NATO and U.S.-European Union summits. He secured a collection of joint communiques expressing concern over Russia and China, also was at the EU on Tuesday to preside over the announcement of a breakthrough easing a long-running U.S. aircraft commerce dispute with that bloc.
Biden's European tour has aimed to revive U.S. partnerships that were damaged under former President Donald Trump, who publicly invited what American intelligence services said was Russian interference from U.S. political campaigns, and who sought out Putin and other autocrats he saw as powerful.
In accord with the chilly-so-far Biden-Putin connection -- Putin's government responded with indignation earlier this year after Biden said he believed the Russian a"killer" -- the two men plan neither lunch nor dinner together, and no joint press conference after, in what is anticipated to become their four to five hours collectively.
According to a senior administration official allowed anonymity to disclose internal talks, Biden is hoping to find modest regions of agreement with the president, such as potentially returning ambassadors to Washington and Moscow.
That along with other diplomatic issues, for instance, tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats and closing of consulates, will be higher on the agenda for either side.