President Biden said he plans to bring up the issue of human rights with Vladimir Putin this mid-June when the two meet in Geneva.
“I’ll be meeting with President Putin in a couple of weeks in Geneva, making it clear that we will not — we will not stand by and let him abuse those rights,” Biden said during a Memorial Day speech.
Biden’s words prompted a response from Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who said Russia is ready to discuss everything, including problems that exist in the United States.” Lavrov added that Russia was monitoring the “persecution” of those who were arrested for partaking in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“A lot of interesting things are happening there,” he said, adding that Russia wants to discuss “protection of opposition rights” in the United States.
Russia’s government has long been of the subject criticism when it comes to human rights, namely for its suppression of opposition activists and adversarial journalists.