Russia Sends Chilling Warning To Biden Ahead Of Putin Meeting Next Month
Russia has threatened to send the United States ‘uncomfortable’ signals in the lead up to President Biden’s summit with Vladimir Putin next month.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, warned the country would ramp up the pressure on the United States, with relations between the two giants at an all-time low amid accusations of hacking, election interference and human rights violations.
Ryabkov told state news agency RIA: ‘The Americans must assume that a number of signals from Moscow… will be uncomfortable for them, including in the coming days.’
The somewhat vague message comes shortly after Biden revealed he planned to press President Putin on his country’s alleged human rights violations when the pair meet in Geneva in just over two weeks’ time.
In a Memorial Day address made on Sunday, May 30, in Delaware, Biden discussed the issue of human rights, saying, ‘I’m meeting with President Putin in a couple weeks in Geneva, making it clear we will not stand by and let him abuse those rights,’ per The Guardian.
According to The Independent, Ryabkov said Russia was prepared to discuss the issue, and accused the United States of being inflexible when it came to setting the agenda for other topics of discussion during the meeting.
Russia is reportedly keen to question Biden on the recent increase in NATO and US forces on the Ukraine-Russia border, amid concerns that Putin is considering further military action in the region.
In comments made last week, reported by CNBC, Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu warned the deployment of Western troops was ‘destroying the world’s security systems’ and could lead to Russia taking ‘adequate countermeasures’.
Activists have also been urging the Biden administration to pressure Russia on the continued detention of anti-Putin activist Alexei Navalny, as well as the recent decision by Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko – a staunch Putin ally – to divert an international flight in order to arrest dissident journalist Raman Protasevich.
Russia is also facing pressure over it’s alleged role in the Solar Winds cyber attacks, which saw the internal computer systems of several federal government agencies compromised last year.
Microsoft last week accused the same group thought to be behind the Solar Winds hacks of conducting an active email scam targeting US government employees and other Washington insiders, ZDNet reports. Russia has denied knowledge of the attacks.
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