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Then-Vice President Biden meets with then-Prime Minister Putin in March 2011 in Moscow. Photo: RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin/Pool via AP

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16 for their first in-person summit, the White House announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The highly anticipated summit offers an early test of the Biden administration's goal of holding Russia accountable for its abuses while seeking a more "stable" and "predictable" relationship.

The big picture: Tensions between the U.S. and Russia have soared in the first six months of the Biden presidency.

  • U.S. intelligence declassified a report on March 16 finding that Putin authorized election influence operations aimed at denigrating Biden's candidacy, supporting former President Trump, and undermining public confidence in the vote.
  • One day later, Biden said in an interview that he believes Putin is a "killer," prompting Moscow to recall its ambassador to the U.S.
  • The Biden administration has imposed sanctions on Russia for election interference, the attempted poisoning and jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the SolarWinds hack of federal agencies and the occupation of Crimea.
  • Russia has retaliated by expelling 10 U.S. diplomats and banning top U.S. officials from entering the country. Its massive military buildup on the eastern border of Ukraine drew warnings from the U.S. and its European allies.

Despite the tensions, both governments have expressed interest in cooperating on areas of mutual interest, like climate change and arms control.

  • Biden agreed to a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact as one of his first foreign policy moves after taking office, and Putin attended a virtual White House climate summit in April.
  • The Biden administration also waived sanctions on the corporate entity and Putin-allied CEO overseeing the construction of Nord Stream 2, allowing the Russian-owned pipeline to bypass Ukraine and deliver natural gas directly to Europe. The move has been rebuked on Capitol Hill as a geopolitical gift to Putin.

Timing: Ahead of meeting Putin, Biden will travel to the U.K. on June 11-13 for the G7 summit, followed by a trip to Brussels on June 14 for the NATO summit.

Flashback: At a now-infamous summit in Helsinki in July 2018, Trump drew widespread condemnation by siding with Putin over his own intelligence community's assessment of Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Go deeper: What key senators want from a Biden-Putin summit

Go deeper

Aug 27, 2021 - Health

White House clarifies Biden boosters statement

President Biden, right, and Naftali Bennett, Israel's prime minister, meet in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney0The New York Times-Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to issue a statement clarifying there is no change to their planned timeline for recommending boosters after people finish their primary immunization, despite comments from the president this afternoon.

What they're saying: "We are going to start the booster program in mid-September. There's no change in our timeline," a press release says, according to a senior Biden administration official. The move is also pending authorization by the FDA and the CDC's advisory panel known as ACIP, a senior Biden administration official told Axios.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."