Biden-Putin summit a chance to catch a falling knife: RDIF

Biden-Putin summit a chance to catch a falling knife: RDIF

This combination of images created on March 17, 2021 shows US President Joe Biden (left) during remarks on the implementation of the US bailout in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on March 15, 2021, and Russian President Vladimir Putin as he and his Turkish counterpart hold a joint press statement following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 5, 2020.

Eric Baradat | AFP | Getty Images

The upcoming US-Russia summit will be a critical time to try to rekindle the bad relations between the two countries, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF, told CNBC on Friday.

President Joe Biden meets with President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland, in what will be their first face-to-face meeting since Biden took office. The summit takes place amid sanctions and allegations of electoral interference, human rights abuses, Middle East disputes and many other issues.

“I compare (the) US-Russian relationship to a falling knife and we have to catch that knife on the 16th.e until it falls to the ground, ”Dmitriev told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

“There are a lot of real issues that are different, but there are also a lot of misunderstandings and we have to at least engage and start communicating a lot more, because when we see it happening, there are really a lot of wrongs. assumptions in the decisions that are made, ”he added.

In the latest escalation between the two sides, Russia suggested dropping dollar-denominated oil contracts if the United States were to impose new sanctions. Also on Thursday, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov confirmed that US dollar assets will be removed from its $ 186 billion National Wealth Fund.

Relations between Moscow and Washington deteriorated in 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which resulted in US sanctions. But, according to Andrey Kostin, chairman of Russian bank VTB, the link reached its “lowest possible level” during Donald Trump’s presidency.

“I’m a little skeptical because the previous records don’t give us too much ground for excitement,” Kostin told CNBC of the upcoming summit, adding that it was nonetheless “very, very good for the two leaders to meet. “.

Speaking to CNBC on Friday at the same event, he said Putin and Biden “certainly” won’t make the relationship worse.

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