US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Wednesday to begin cybersecurity and arms control talks at a summit that highlighted their discord on those issues, human rights and Ukraine.
In their first meeting since he took office in January, Biden asked Putin how he would feel if a ransomware attack hit Russia’s oil network, a pointed question making reference to the May shutdown of a pipeline that caused disruptions and panic-buying along the US East Coast.
While Biden stressed that he did not make threats during the three-hour meeting, he said he outlined US interests, including cybersecurity, and made clear to Putin that the United States would respond if Russia infringed on those concerns.
Both men used careful pleasantries to describe their talks in a lakeside Swiss villa, with Putin calling them constructive and without hostility and Biden saying there was no substitute for face-to-face discussions.
They also agreed to send their ambassadors back to each other’s capitals. Russia recalled its envoy after Biden said in March that he thought Putin was a “killer.” The United States recalled its ambassador soon after.
Putin said on Wednesday that he had been satisfied by Biden’s explanation of the remark.
But there was no hiding their differences on issues such as human rights, where Biden said the consequences for Russia would be “devastating” if jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny died, or cyberspace, where Washington has demanded Moscow crack down on ransomware attacks emanating from Russian soil.
“I looked at him and said: ‘How would you feel if ransomware took on the pipelines from your oil fields?’ He said: ‘It would matter,'” Biden told reporters at an unusual solo news conference, itself an illustration of the tensions between the two nations.
The query referred to a cyberattack that closed the Colonial Pipeline Co system for several days in May, preventing millions of barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from flowing to the East Coast from the Gulf Coast.
Biden also vowed to take action against any Russian cyberattacks: “I pointed out to him that we have significant cyber capability. And he knows it.”
Speaking to reporters before Biden, Putin dismissed US concerns about Navalny, Russia’s increased military presence near Ukraine’s eastern border and US suggestions that Russians were responsible for the cyberattacks on the United States.
He also suggested Washington was in no position to lecture Moscow on rights, batting away question about his crackdown on political rivals by saying he was trying to avoid the “disorder” of a popular movement, such as Black Lives Matter.
“What we saw was disorder, disruption, violations of the law, etc. We feel sympathy for the United States of America, but we don’t want that to happen on our territory and we’ll do our utmost in order to not allow it to happen,” he said.
He also seemed to question the legitimacy of arresting the rioters who attacked the US Capitol on Jan. 6, seeking to stop Biden’s certification as president after he beat his predecessor, Donald Trump, in the November election by over 7 million votes.
Biden said any comparison between what happened on Jan. 6 and the Black Lives Matter movement was “ridiculous.”
US-Russia relations have been deteriorating for years, notably with Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, its 2015 intervention in Syria and US charges – denied by Moscow – of meddling in the 2016 election won by Trump.
Neither side gave details on how their planned cybersecurity talks might unfold, although Biden said he told Putin that critical infrastructure should be “off-limits” to cyberattacks, saying that included 16 sectors that he did not publicly identify.
“We need some basic rules of the road that we can all abide by,” Biden said he had told Putin.
Biden said he raised human rights issues because it was in the “DNA” of his country to do so, and also because of the fate of US citizens jailed in Russia.
Putin said he believed some compromises could be found, although he gave no indication of any prisoner exchange deal.
Putin, 68, called Biden, 78, a constructive, experienced partner, and said they spoke “the same language.” But he added that there had been no friendship, rather a pragmatic dialogue about their two countries’ interests.
“President Biden has miscalculated who he is dealing with,” said US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is close to Trump. He called it “disturbing” to hear Biden suggest that Putin cared about his standing in the world.
Trump was accused by both Democrats and some Republicans of not being tough enough on Putin, particularly during a jovial 2018 meeting in Helsinki between the two leaders.
This time, there were separate news conferences and no shared meal.
Both Biden and Putin said they shared a responsibility, however, for nuclear stability, and would hold talks on possible changes to their recently extended New START arms limitation treaty.
In February, Russia and the United States extended New START for five years. The treaty caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads they can deploy and limits the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.
A senior US official told reporters that Biden, Putin, their foreign ministers and interpreters met first for 93 minutes. After a break, the two sides met for 87 minutes in a larger group including their ambassadors.
Putin said it was “hard to say” if relations would improve, but that there was a “glimpse of hope.”
“This is not about trust, this is about self-interest and verification of self-interest,” Biden said, but he also cited a “genuine prospect” of improving relations.
1,763 total views, 8 views today
Nollywood Actor, Olaiya Still Alive – TAMPAN Reacts To Deaths Rumour
Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners of Nigeria (TAMPAN) has rubbished reports that Ebun Oloyede, a popular Yoruba actor widely known as Olaiya Igwe, is dead.
Some online media had reported that Olaiya died at University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Monday morning.
One of the reports said the actor died during the surgery of his Kidney stone.
However, a TAMPAN official who spoke with PM News on Tuesday morning described the reports as “Rubbish and Fake.”
He said: “It’s fake news and I can confirm to you that Olaiya Igwe is alive.”
UCH has also reacted to the reports of the actor’s death.
The Public Relations Officer of UCH, Toye Akinrinola, said: “I am not aware of anything like that. A journalist had called me earlier on the matter. We just checked; there is no record of him at the Emergency Unit of the hospital. At least, if he died at the hospital, the Mortuary record should have revealed that to us,” Akinrinola said.
Veteran actor, Dele Odule, has also rubbished the reports.
He said, “Rumour of his death is untrue. Olaiya is still very much alive. I spoke with him on the telephone about an hour ago and he was very much alive.”
7 total views, 7 views today
Tokyo 2020: Ese Brume Wins Nigeria’s First Medal
Nigeria has its first medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after Ese Brume, in the early hours of Tuesday, claimed a bronze medal after finishing third in the women’s long jump event.
Brume leapt 6.97 metres with her very first jump to claim bronze behind second-placed Brittany Reece of the United States and gold medallist Malaika Mihambo of Germany.
It is Nigeria’s first track and field medal at the Olympics since 2008 when Okagbare won a silver medal in Beijing. It also makes the long jump the first individual event to give Nigeria three medals at the Olympics with Chioma Ajunwa’s gold at the Atlanta ‘96 Olympics topping Okagbare’s silver from 2008 and Brume’s bronze.
Brume also joins Okagbare and Glory Alozie as the only Nigerians to win individual medals at both the Worlds and the Olympics.
On Tuesday, at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Brume and Reese swapped top spot a number of times and both looked set to claim gold and silver until Mihambo, with her very last jump, leapt 7.00m to add the Olympic title to the world title she won in Doha two years ago.
Mihambo started well, taking the lead on her first attempt with a jump of 6.83m.
But she was instantly overtaken by Brume with a leading jump of 6.97m which set the standard in the first of six attempts.
270 total views, 270 views today
BBNaija: I’ve No Problem With Saga Sucking My Wife’s Breast -Tega’s Husband Reacts
The husband of BBNaija’s Tega has come to her defense after Nigerians dragged her for allowing fellow male housemate, Saga to suck her nipples during their truth and dare game.
Tega got dragged by most Nigerians after a viral video showing Saga sucking her nipple during their truth and dare game even though she’s a married woman.
However, her husband sees nothing wrong with the act.
A post from Tega’s husband indicates that he isn’t worried about what his wife did by allowing another man to suck her nipple on national TV as he defended her, saying it’s what he signed up for.
According to him, “My wife Tega is an actress and if what she did was a movie scene, she would have done more than what we saw hence encouraging individuals to subscribe to Show Max and get more than what we see.
Recall that Tega once said that her husband has restricted her to only cruise with men in the Biggie house and nothing more.
According to her, her husband permitted her to do everything on the reality show but should be wary of anything that would come in between their marriage.
But the story is not the same with the event of Sunday night.
715 total views, 438 views today
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