August 5, 2021

Masha Gessen on the Biden-Putin Summit, Alexei Navalny & the Future of U.S.-Russia Relations

1 min read

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting in Geneva for a closely watched summit between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. Topics expected to be discussed include nuclear arms, cybersecurity, Syria, the Iranian nuclear deal, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Korean Peninsula, Putin’s crackdown on dissent inside Russia and the U.S. military presence near the Russian border. The two world leaders are coming to the summit with fundamentally different goals, says Russian American journalist and writer Masha Gessen. Putin “accomplishes what he has come to Geneva for by simply having the summit,” Gessen says. “Biden is concerned … with finding areas of common interest, and he is alone in that. He is alone in actually trying to negotiate in good faith.” Gessen also discusses the ongoing imprisonment of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Russia’s low vaccination rate and their own experience with COVID-19.