Mainstream media is positively giddy with excitement that "tough on Russia" Joe Biden will finally "confront" Putin during their highly anticipated summit in Geneva on Wednesday. Though any level of diplomatic "check mate" won't come publicly as Biden will give a solo press conference, ensuring that he can give his version of events to a pliant press pool, which one admin official earlier described as communicating "with the free press" (...the implication being that Putin's presence would somehow make it not a "free press").
During Biden's Monday press conference at the end of the one-day NATO summit in Brussels, the US president vowed: "But I will tell you this: I’m going to make clear to President Putin that there are areas where we can cooperate, if he chooses. And if he chooses not to cooperate and acts in a way that he has in the past, relative to cybersecurity and some other activities, then we will respond. We will respond in kind."
Biden additionally said in his NATO summit remarks: "There need not be — we should decide where it’s in our mutual interest, in the interest of the world, to cooperate, and see if we can do that. And the areas where we don’t agree, make it clear what the red lines are."
And then the president dubbed Putin "a worthy adversary"...
I have met with him. He’s bright. He’s tough. And I have found that he is a — as they say, when you used to play ball, "a worthy adversary."
As we highlighted earlier, much of this "adversary" talk is more simply geared toward a US domestic audience, particularly a Democratic base which has been primed and pumped for years on the Russiagate and 'interference' kool-aid...
Mainstream media are barely reporting – and at times distorting – olive-branch remarks by Putin, and are at pains to "accentuate the negative". We are particularly concerned over the incessant media commentary on "Russian hacking", which seems to be aimed at mousetrapping you into an ill-advised confrontation with Putin. Revelations since the last summit in July 2018 – including testimony under oath to Congress – give President Putin some very high cards. Should things get acrimonious, he might decide to put them into play.
Meanwhile, Russian official sources have revealed the agenda for Wednesday's bilateral summit, which is to include cyberattacks and cybercrime, fighting the pandemic, the war in Donbass and Ukraine issues, and then there's no doubt Biden will focus heavily on human rights.
President Biden says if jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny were to die in prison it would be a “tragedy.”— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 14, 2021
“Navalny’s death would be another indication that Russia has little or no intention of abiding by basic fundamental human rights” https://t.co/WqfuBhPQMA pic.twitter.com/qBl94yuT8Z
The two presidents are due to meet at 1pm local time at Geneva's historic Villa La Grange.
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In the meantime...
TIME cover blasted for over-the-top attempt to make Biden ‘look cool’ ahead of Putin meeting https://t.co/iz4gKGgGfS— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 11, 2021