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


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This combination of images taken on March 17, 2021 shows US President Joe Biden (L) during remarks on the implementation of the US rescue plan in the White House state dining hall in Washington, March 15, 2021, and Russian President Vladimir Putin while he and his Turkish counterpart hold a joint statement for the press after their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow on March 5, 2020.

Eric Baradat AFP | Getty Images

The upcoming US-Russian summit will be a critical moment in an attempt to revive bad relations between the two countries, Kirill Dmitriev, executive director of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF, told CNBC on Friday.

President Joe Biden is meeting with President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland, which will be their first face-to-face meeting since Biden took office. The summit is being held amid sanctions and allegations of interference in elections, human rights violations, differences over the Middle East and many other issues.

“I’m comparing the (American-Russian) relationship to a falling knife and we have to catch it on November 16th until it falls to the floor, ”Dmitriev told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

“There are a lot of real problems that are different, but there are also really a lot of misunderstandings and at least we have to get involved and start communicating a lot more because when we see things being done, there are really a lot of wrong assumptions in the decisions that are made,” he added.

In the latest escalation between the two sides, Russia has proposed lifting oil contracts denominated in dollars if the U.S. imposes new sanctions. Also Thursday, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov confirmed that Assets in U.S. dollars will decline from its $ 186 billion National Wealth Fund.

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

“I’m a little skeptical because previous records don’t give us too much ground for enthusiasm,” Kostin told CNBC about the upcoming summit, adding that it’s still “very, very good that the two leaders will meet.”

Speaking to CNBC on Friday at the same event, he said that Putin and Biden “definitely” will not worsen the relationship.

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