MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday set a tough tone for his upcoming summit with US President Joe Biden, accusing Washington of trying to contain Russia and citing its response to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as a manifestation of the West’s double standards.
Speaking at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Putin said that arms control, global conflicts, the Coronavirus pandemic and climate change are among the issues he and Biden would discuss at their June 16 summit in Geneva.
“We need to find ways of looking for a settlement in our relations, which are at an extremely low level now,” Putin said.
“We don’t have any issues with the US,” he continued. “But it has an issue with us.”
Putin reiterated that Russia rejects accusations of interfering in US presidential elections, and he spoke critically of the US response to the Capitol attack, which took place as Congress prepared to certify that Biden had defeated then President Donald Trump in the November election.
“They weren’t just a crowd of robbers and rioters. Those people had come with political demands,” he said.
Putin pointed out that the heavy charges against hundreds of participants in the attack were filed even as the US and its allies strongly criticized Belarus’ crackdown on anti-government protests.