Given the low expectations for their June 16 summit, U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin may have headed home from Geneva with the sense of a modest mission accomplished. It was an easier reach for Putin than for Biden, who may face pressure for results in the months ahead.
Here are some of the key developments in Russia over the past week and some of the takeaways going forward.
With expectations pared to a minimum, both U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin can probably say they achieved their goals, modest as they were, at their June 16 summit in Geneva.
Biden and Putin "shook hands, exchanged unpleasantries, agreed to have their people get in touch with their other people, and moved on," Sam Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College London, wrote wryly in a newsletter the day after the meeting. 'In other words, the summit was a resounding success.'
And Olya Oliker, Europe and Central Asia director at the International Crisis Group, tweeted shortly after the summit ended that "both came out of this looking good to their core audiences."
Compared to Biden, who faced criticism from some quarters for holding the meeting at all, the bar was arguably much lower for Putin: All he really had to do was get invited and show up.
Putin "apparently got what he wanted from this summit," Dmitry Oreshkin, a Russian political analyst who is not aligned with the Kremlin, told Current Time shortly after a solo post-summit press conference in which he said Putin "seemed self-assured" -- or, as one journalist covering the meeting put it, in which "Putin...was clearly pleased by whatever Putin had to say."
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