May 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden says human rights will be on the agenda with Putin

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at Sportrock Climbing Center.

President Biden. Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Sunday said that he plans to make human rights abuses a priority in his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva next month, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Biden, who said in March that he believes Vladimir Putin is a "killer," has pledged to take a hard-line approach against the Kremlin.

  • During a speech in Delaware marking Memorial Day, Biden said that when he meets with his Russian counterpart on June 16, he will make "it clear we will not, we will not stand by and let him abuse those rights."

Driving the news: Tensions have remained high between the two countries since Biden took office.

  • On Friday, the White House announced new sanctions against Belarus as punishment for forcing down a Ryanair flight to arrest an opposition journalist. The move came just hours after Aleksandr Lukashenko met with his ally, Putin, in Sochi.
  • The administration also warned last month there would be consequences if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies in custody.

Go deeper ... Secretary of State calls for “stable” relationship with Russia

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