Geneva summit: Biden, Putin decide to send ambassadors back

GENEVA: In a positive sign, US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin held wide-ranging talks in the Swiss city and decided to restore ambassadors to their posts in respective capitals.

In a press conference after the talks, the Russian leader confirmed the decision by the two leaders to send ambassadors back and added that the situation in Ukraine and arms control were also discussed.

Mr Putin added that the US and Russia will begin consultations on cyber security, an issue of contention between the two countries. We believe that the cyber space is extremely important for both US and Russia, Mr Putin said.

Weeks ago, both the US Ambassador to Russia and Russian Ambassador to US were recalled to their respective capitals as part of escalation in hostilities that followed Russia’s military build-up in eastern Ukraine and Crimea in April this year.  As part of retaliation for Russia’s election meddling and harassment of U.S. diplomats, the US has expelled several Russian diplomats and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the Russian trade mission in Washington, D.C. In a tit-for-tat posture, Russia has also expelled several US diplomats and close US consulates in Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, and St. Petersburg. The US embassy in Russia continues to be hobbled due to the recent directive by the Kremlin against hiring of Russian staff.

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