President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to have an in-person meeting on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The White House and the Kremlin both released statements in anticipation of the meeting between the world leaders. Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki announced via press statement: "The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship."
The Kremlin said the presidents will discuss "the current state and prospects of Russian-U.S. relations, strategic stability issues and the acute problems on the international agenda, including interaction in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and settlement of regional conflicts."
Biden has faced sharp criticism for declining to sanction Russian companies and executives constructing the Nord Stream pipeline into Germany.
The United States has long opposed the pipeline as it will give undue Russian influence over Europe and European energy.
"The State Department will also acknowledge that the corporate entity in charge of the project (Nord Stream 2 AG) and its CEO (Putin crony and former East German intelligence officer Matthias Warning) are engaged in sanctionable activities," Axios reported. "However, the State Department will waive the applications of those sanctions, citing U.S. national interests."
According to The Daily Wire, "The report said that the Biden administration will instead sanction some Russian ships, even though experts told Axios that the way to stop the pipeline was to sanction the German end-users of the gas. The report sparked widespread backlash against the administration after there had been a bipartisan effort to stop the pipeline because it will give Russian President Vladimir Putin leverage over Europe."
This will be the first meeting since Biden called Putin "a killer" and Putin mocked the accusation with a Russian playground chant.
After the 46th president called Putin "a killer" in an ABC interview, Putin, according to Reuters, "cited a Russian children's playground chant to scathingly respond to Biden's accusation with the comment that 'he who said it, did it.'"
Putin then extended an offer to Biden to have a debate live and in public. "I want to offer President Biden to continue our discussion but on the condition that we do it live, online, without any delays but in an open, direct discussion," Putin said.