US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are set to meet each other here in a highly anticipated summit.

The talks come at a time when both sides describe the ties between the two countries as being at the rock bottom.

The summit is expected to cover a wide range of topics, including arms control, sanctions and US allegations of Russian cyber-attacks and election interference, the BBC reported.

However, no major breakthroughs are expected, even as there are hopes of finding small areas of agreement.

The arrangements for the meeting have been carefully choreographed, with the Russian President due to arrive first at a grand villa overlooking Lake Geneva where the summit is taking place, followed by Biden, the BBC reported.

The meeting comes on the tail-end of Biden’s first foreign trip as US President, in which he has also attended meetings with G7 and Nato leaders.

Going into the summit, Biden has stressed that he has the backing of his Western partners.

Biden had said the meeting an important step if they are to ultimately find “stability and predictability” in relations, while Putin told state TV there were “issues where we can work together”, the report said.

However, Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, told journalists that there was “not much” ground for optimism.

There are hints of possible progress in talks on the fate of US prisoners in Russia, including the former US marine Paul Whelan, convicted of espionage: Moscow has long been pushing for a swap for its own high-profile detainees in America.

Though the expectation in terms of concrete deliverables from the discussion but the White House had said that the meeting is better than the alternative, the BBC reported.

–IANS

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