Russian President Vladimir Putin said there was a “glimpse of hope” regarding mutual trust between the United States and Russia following a meeting with President Joe Biden.
The two leaders met Wednesday to discuss a range of issues, including cybercrime and Russia’s alleged interference in U.S. elections.
Putin was the first to address the media following the meeting and called Biden a “constructive, experienced partner.” He said they spoke “the same language,” Reuters reported.
Putin described the summit as a “pragmatic” discussion but said there had been no friendship.
He added that it was “hard to say” if Russia’s relationship with the U.S. would improve, but that there had been a “glimpse of hope.”
The meeting lasted less than four hours, far shorter than Biden’s advisors had said they expected.
The two leaders shook hands before their meeting and Biden gave a thumbs-up to reporters afterward.
Biden also appeared to confirm to reporters that he trusted Putin during a brief, chaotic photo opportunity, but the White House later said he was merely acknowledging the media.
Unlike the 2018 meeting between Putin and former President Donald Trump, Biden and Putin held separate news conferences and did not share a meal.
White House officials resisted Russia’s push to hold a joint news conference, according to CNN.
“This is not a contest about who can do better in front of a press conference or try to embarrass each other,” Biden said Sunday of the decision.
During the meeting, Biden and Putin agreed to resume arms control negotiations and return ambassadors to each other’s capitals after they were removed this year.
Putin said the two countries share a responsibility to work toward nuclear stability and plan to hold talks about possible changes to the New START arms limitation treaty, Reuters reported.
The treaty, which sets a cap on the number of strategic nuclear warheads that can be deployed and limits land- and submarine-based missiles, was extended for five years in February.
Putin, however, did not want to compromise on other issues, including the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and U.S. allegations that Russians were responsible for a series of cyberattacks in the U.S.
The Russian president said the two countries would start talking about cybersecurity, but added that most cyberattacks on Russia came from the U.S.
“The meeting was actually very efficient,” Putin said, according to The Associated Press. “It was substantive, it was specific. It was aimed at achieving results, and one of them was pushing back the frontiers of trust.”
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