WASHINGTON, June 15. /TASS/. US President Joe Biden assembled a group of Russian experts ahead of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Axios news website wrote, citing "people familiar with the matter."
The group particularly included former National Security Council official Fiona Hill, former US ambassadors to Russia Michael McFaul and John Tefft, and former NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller.
According to the website, the experts "urged Biden not to hold a joint press conference with Putin or afford him any opportunity to try to upstage the private talks with new public proposals."
The White House said on June 12 that Biden would hold "a solo press conference" after meeting with Putin in Geneva.
Axios pointed out that the meeting "demonstrates the extent to which Biden wants to be well prepared" for talks with the Russian president. "Some participants favored looking for more opportunities to engage with Russia, from student exchanges to restoring diplomatic and consular positions. Others argued for an approach conveying a get-tough message at every opportunity," the news outlet said.
The presidents of Russia and the US will meet in Geneva on June 16. The Russian presidential press service said earlier that Putin and Biden would discuss the prospects for Russia-US relations, strategic stability matters, and pressing global issues, including the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. This will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two heads of state since Biden entered the Oval Office.