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White House correspondent talks Biden, Putin summit

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 8:52 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - President Biden concluded his first trip overseas with a high stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday.

The two met for about three hours discussing cyberattacks, election interference and Ukraine. White House correspondent Jon Decker told Newscenter 11 that Wednesday’s summit could be a step in the right direction.

“One of the things that came out of this meeting is an effort to move this relationship forward. It was in a very bad place before the one-on-one meeting between Biden and Putin. They can build upon this,” Decker explained. “There were some things that came out of it that were a step in the right direction, including an exchange of ambassadors. Prior to this meeting, there was no U.S. ambassador in place in Moscow, there was no Russian Ambassador in Washington, but now there’s a commitment from both presidents, Putin and Biden, to have their ambassadors in place in both of those world capitals.”

With the promise of putting ambassadors in place, Decker said we will have to wait and see if this leads to an open dialogue between the two countries.

“This is one step in the right direction. It was one meeting, but there’s not another summit that is on the schedule right now. There was not an invitation extended by President Biden or President Putin to visit each other’s countries,” Decker said.

The Biden administration was not very optimistic going into the meeting, but there might be some optimism coming out of it.

“There’s optimism certainly expressed by President Biden. We heard that a few times during his press conference and just before he got onboard Air Force One,” Decker explained. “I think it’s tempered optimism, it’s cautious optimism because you’re dealing with Vladimir Putin who can be so unpredictable. Today there’s optimism and I think it will really be evident over the next few weeks and the next few months whether this particular conversation, that lasted several hours, goes a long way towards improving the relationship.”

Biden left Geneva, Switzerland for Washington D.C. shortly after a press conference.

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