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Geneva meeting may help Putin, Biden establish working relations — expert

NATO's former deputy secretary-general noted that two presidents "might agree to get going on replacing the New START Treaty and renewing strategic stability talks"

WASHINGTON, May 27. /TASS/. The forthcoming summit meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden in Geneva is potentially capable of letting the two leaders establish a working relationship and lay the groundwork for future cooperation, NATO's former deputy secretary-general, Rose Gottemoeller, told TASS, when asked for comment on the plans for bilateral Putin-Biden talks in Geneva on June 16 that Russia and the United States announced earlier.

"I see this summit as akin to the first meeting of [Ronald] Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva in 1985, the so-called "fireside summit." The two men [Soviet and US leaders] had very direct and difficult conversations, but at the same time, they established a working relationship that made way for later progress," Gottemoeller said.

"I think it is too early to say what progress can be made at this summit, although I am certainly hoping that the two presidents will agree to get going on replacing the New START Treaty and renewing strategic stability talks, as they spoke of during their telephone call in April," she stated.

Gottemoeller was NATO's deputy secretary-general in 2016-2019. Before that, she was the United States' undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. She led the team of US negotiators that, together with their Russian counterparts, produced the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START). The retired diplomat now conducts teaching and research at Stanford University, California.