Issue Brief on “US-Russia Summit 2021: Reviving the Entente”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden met for a bilateral summit in Geneva on June 16, 2021.[1] The high stake summit came at a time when relations between the Cold War rivals are at an all-time low. Expectations of a heated discussion by many experts notwithstanding, the atmosphere of the meeting between the two heads of state remained positive. The selected venue for the first meeting between the two presidents too was symbolic – the 18th century Swiss villa in Geneva that had been the venue of the Cold War summit in 1985 between US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The mood of the meeting offered measured assessments with lesser rhetoric on issues that have been a bone of contention between Russia and the US like the latter’s accusations of cyber hacks, annexation of Crimea, and human rights violations. While no breakthrough came out of the summit, the meeting ended with good atmospherics with an agreement to reinstate Russian and American ambassadors to each other capital who were called back amid rising tensions between the two mcountries earlier this year.[2] The US agenda of the meeting was dominated by three priority areas that will work as a framework for Russia-US relations and its future:[3]

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