With Putin, Biden attempts a bond of self-interest, not souls

Their first summit was cool and professional, but what comes next?

US President Joe Biden (right) with Russian President Vladimir Putin prior to the US-Russia summit in Geneva on Wednesday. The two emerged from meetings, having reviewed a laundry list of disputes without a hint of resolution to any of them and no sign of a personal bond, says the writer. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

(NYTIMES) No one peered admiringly into anyone's soul. No one called anyone a killer. By all appearances, United States President Joe Biden's much-anticipated meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia was not warm, but neither was it hot.

As he became the fifth American president to sit down with the troublesome Mr Putin, Mr Biden on Wednesday made an effort to forge a working relationship shorn of the ingratiating flattery of his immediate predecessor, yet without the belligerent language that he himself has employed about the Russian leader in the past.

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