Biden spoke at a press conference after his meeting with Putin, addressing questions as to what the two men discussed, and what penalties there might be for incursions on US sovereignty.
When he spoke about the Arctic, however, he risked calling Putin “President Trump.”
Biden said that it is essential that the US president speak out in favor of American values and human rights, and that “it’s not just about going after Russia when they violate human rights, but it’s about who we are.”
Biden reiterated that we’re “a product of an idea,” and that “we don’t derive our rights from the government,” but are born with them, and only “yield them to a government.”
He spoke about the abuses against Putin’s political opponent Alexei Navalny. Biden said that if Navalny dies that would speak badly to Russian credibility.
As to the potential for Russian interference in American elections, Biden said that would not be tolerated.
Biden said that they discussed strategic stability and to “try to set up a mechanism” where it could be dealt with. He said that certain infrastructure should be off limits to attack, and cited 16 critical infrastructure areas, from energy to water resources, that should not be subjected to cyber attacks.
Biden said that he made Ukrainian sovereignty a primary component of diplomacy.
“I did what I came to do,” he said, identifying areas of practical work where the two nations can work together. Secondly, to “communicate directly” in areas that are integral to US national interests, and thirdly, he said, to emphasize US priorities and values.
He said it was a positive four hour meeting, and said again that America is back, and that the US has rallied with allies, and sorted how to deal with the Russia US relationship.
“Folks, look, this is about how we move from here. I listened to a significant portion of President Putin’s press conference… This is about practical straightforward no nonsense decisions that we have to make or not make. We’ll find out in the next six months to a year whether we actually have a strategic dialogue,” he said.