President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for the first time as the heads of their respective countries on Wednesday — shaking hands after arriving at the summit site.
Swiss President Guy Parmelin greeted both Biden and Putin at Villa La Grange — where their summit is taking place — wishing the leaders a “fruitful meeting.”
“On behalf of the Swiss government, I would like to welcome you to Geneva, the city of peace,” Parmelin said.
“It is an honor and a pleasure for Switzerland to host you here for this summit and, in accordance with its tradition of good offices, promote dialog and mutual understanding,” he added. “I wish you both a fruitful meeting in the interest of your two countries and the world.”
Putin arrived at the summit site before Biden did, according to Los Angeles Times reporter Eli Stokols, which is notable as the Russian president was an hour late to his 2018 meeting with Donald Trump in Helsinki.
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) June 16, 2021
Although Putin arrived first, Biden did extend his hand for the first handshake between the presidents and even flashed a big smile– Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs claiming it happened after she “yelled to Putin,” asking, “Why do you fear Navalny so much?”
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 16, 2021
CNN aired a quick clip of the meeting, just as the two presidents sat down together — which quickly turned into an awkward moment as reporters and photographers were eager to get someone’s head out of their shot.
Watch above, via MSNBC and CNN.
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