Biden, Putin set ‘consultations’ on updating nuclear pact


GENEVA (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says he and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed in a “constructive” summit to return their ambassadors to their posts and to begin consultations to replace the last remaining treaty between the two countries limiting nuclear weapons.

Putin said their summit talks Wednesday were anything but hostile, though the leaders have exchanged barbed comments in recent months.

The two sides had said they expected to meet for four to five hours but spent less than three hours together, including an opening meeting with just the two presidents and each one’s top foreign aide.

Biden said he stressed human rights issues in his meeting, including the cases of two Americans who Biden says are “wrongfully imprisoned” in Russia.

Biden added that he’ll keep on airing concerns about issues of “fundamental human rights because that’s what we are.” 

The Russian leader noted that Biden repeated wise advice his mother had given him and also spoke about his family — messaging that Putin said might not have been entirely relevant to their summit but demonstrated Biden’s “moral values.”

Though he raised doubt that the U.S.-Russia relationship could soon return to a measure of equilibrium of years past, Putin suggested that Biden was someone he could work with.

“The meeting was actually very efficient,” Putin said. “It was substantive, it was specific.

It was aimed at achieving results, and one of them was pushing back the frontiers of trust.”

Putin said he and Biden agreed to begin negotiations on nuclear talks to potentially replace the New START treaty limiting nuclear weapons after it expires in 2026.


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