Russia Threatens to Send “Uncomfortable Signals” Ahead of Putin-Biden Summit

Russian authorities said they would send “uncomfortable signals” to the U.S. ahead of the summit of the leaders of the two countries next month, announcing they would strengthen their militarily, presence on the western borders, Reuters reported.

The comments came a day after US President Joe Biden said he would pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to respect human rights when they meet in Geneva on June 16. Relations between the two countries are at their lowest level since the end of the Cold War.

“The Americans must assume that numerous signals from Moscow will be unpleasant for them, including in the coming days,” said Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister.

Ryabkov added that Russia would be ready to answer Biden’s questions about human rights in Russia and that Moscow was more flexible than Washington in compiling the summit’s agenda, Russian media reported.

Moscow’s ties with the West have been strained due to the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the presence of Russian troops near Ukraine, as well as accusations of hacking the U.S. elections.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday that the United States and the NATO alliance had recently increased their military activity towards western Russia, which required Moscow’s response.

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