Biden calls Putin a ‘bright, worthy adversary’ instead of a ‘killer’ and warns US will ‘respond in kind’ to aggression while taking questions from ANOTHER list of pre-approved reporters
Biden said there was consensus among ‘Every single one that spoke.’ They thanked him ‘for meeting with Putin now.’ He said fellow leaders thought it was ‘thoroughly appropriate’ that he do so. Biden rejected the supposition of a question that it was a reward for Putin to meet him so early in his term.
‘I’m going to make clear to President Putin that there are areas we can cooperate if he chooses,’ Biden said.
‘If he chooses not to cooperate and acts in a way that he has in the past,’ Biden said, ‘then we will respond. We will respond in kind.’
But he offered a caveat. ‘There need not be. We should decide where it’s in our mutual interests and the interests of the world to cooperate,’ he said.
Biden also took a question over what it would mean if Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny were to die in prison, having been sentenced after a poison attempt on his life with a nerve agent.
‘Navalny’s death would be another indication of Russia has little or no intention of abiding by basic fundamental human rights. It would be a tragedy. It would do nothing but hurt his relationships with the rest of the world in my view. And with me.’
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