Swiss President Guy Parmelin and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday, June 16, the Swiss government said.
This is the same day as Geneva hosts a high-level summit between US President Joe Biden and Putin of Russia. Parmelin and Cassis will meet with Biden the day before, on June 15.
For the talks between Switzerland and Russia, Putin will be accompanied by his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. The discussions will “address security issues in Europe and efforts to strengthen the multilateral level (Council of Europe and OSCE)”, according to a statement from the Swiss foreign ministry.
It said the aim of Switzerland’s foreign policy strategy was to “maintain a constructive and critical dialogue with Russia in order to further strengthen relations. Fostering the relationship is particularly important on account of Switzerland’s protecting power mandates for Russia and Georgia. There is also great potential for economic exchange”.
Meeting with Biden
The day before, the same Swiss delegation will meet with US President Joe Biden, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
The focus of the discussion will be on the sustainable strengthening of economic relations and close cooperation in the fields of education and research, the statement said. Switzerland’s “good offices” will also be discussed. Switzerland has a protecting power mandate to represent US interests in Iran.