Biden to Tell Putin U.S. Won’t ‘Stand By’ on Human Rights Abuses
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said the U.S. will stand up for human rights and pledged to raise the matter during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month.
“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 Sunday during remarks in Delaware ahead of the Memorial Day holiday.
The leaders are set to meet on June 15-16 at a fraught time in relations after cyberattacks the U.S. has blamed on Russia or Russia-based hackers, as well as Putin’s support for Belarus, which forced down a Ryanair flight on May 23 to arrest a journalist.
Amid outrage shared by its European allies, the Biden administration said Friday it would reinstate sanctions against nine Belarusian state-owned enterprises, and is developing additional penalties to target government officials there.
Biden has stopped short of blaming the Kremlin for this month’s cyber-attack against Colonial Pipeline Co., while saying there’s evidence the hackers or the software they used are “in Russia.”
On Sunday, Biden also said he emphasized to Chinese President Xi Jinping that the U.S. doesn’t tolerate human rights abuses.
“I had a long conversation for two hours recently with President Xi, making it clear to him that we could do nothing but speak out for human rights around the world because that’s who we are,” he said.
The Biden administration has said Beijing’s treatment of China’s Muslim Uyghur population in the Xinjiang region amounts to genocide. After a Feb. 10 phone conversation between Biden and Xi, the White House said China’s “crackdown in Hong Kong” and “human rights abuses in Xinjiang” were among the topics raised by the U.S. president.
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