On Monday, Russia reportedly told the United States that it should anticipate “uncomfortable” signals from the country in the near future.
As reported by Reuters, the comments came from Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, after President Joe Biden spoke about Russian President Putin’s human rights record on Sunday. The two world leaders are scheduled to come together for a summit on June 16 in Switzerland.
“The Americans must assume that a number of signals from Moscow … will be uncomfortable for them, including in the coming days,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency, per Reuters.
Ryabkov also reportedly noted that the country would be ready to answer Biden’s questions about human rights in the country, “and said that Moscow was being more flexible than Washington when it came to drawing up an agenda for the summit, RIA reported.”
Reuters noted that the relationship between Russia and the United States has been tense for several reasons lately, including the United States’ criticism of the imprisonment of Putin critic Alexei Navalny.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reportedly said on Monday that the United States and the NATO transatlantic alliance had ramped up military activity West of Russia recently, which necessitated a response from Moscow.
“The actions of our Western colleagues are destroying the world’s security system and force us to take adequate countermeasures,” the Interfax news agency quoted Shoigu as saying.
“Around 20 military formations and units will be formed in the Western Military District by the end of the year,” he was quoted as saying, per Reuters.
At a Memorial Day event on Sunday, Biden commented on Putin’s human rights record. “I’ll be meeting with President Putin in a couple of weeks in Geneva, making it clear that we will not — we will not stand by and let him abuse those rights,” Biden said, per CNN.
Biden also said that he recently brought up human rights violations during a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“I had a long conversation, for two hours recently with President Xi, making it clear to him that we could do nothing but speak out for human rights around the world because that’s who we are,” Biden said.
Last week, the White House confirmed that the summit between the two leaders will take place on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Daily Wire reported that in a statement announcing the meeting, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the “leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship.”
As reported by The Associated Press, the Kremlin, in its own statement announcing the summit, said that the presidents will talk about “the current state and prospects of the Russian-U.S. relations, strategic stability issues and the acute problems on the international agenda, including interaction in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and settlement of regional conflicts.”
The Biden administration took some action against Russia earlier this year by imposing sanctions against the country as a reaction to the alleged poisoning and imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Putin originally challenged Biden to a live, broadcasted discussion earlier this year. As reported by The Daily Wire, the challenge came in response to Biden claiming that Putin was a “killer” during an interview with ABC News.
“I would say to him: I wish you good health,” Putin initially said. “Although they think we are the same as them, we are different people; we have a different genetic and cultural-moral code. But we know how to defend our own interests, and we will work with them but in those areas in which we are interested and on terms we consider favorable for us. And they will have to reckon with that.”
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