Media shut out of Biden-Putin summit amid scuffle between US, Russian journalists and security officials
When U.S. and Russian journalists flocked to the Villa La Grange for the summit between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladamir Putin, they were abruptly stopped by security personnel and government officials from both countries.
According to Politico, members of the media were told to form a single file line. Ignoring the request, journalists are said to have "screamed as a Swiss official kept urging journalists and officials to be quiet." After a period of time, a total of 9 U.S. journalists and a number of Russian were allowed to enter the area of the library where both presidents were seated. Biden was accompanied by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken while Putin's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accompanied him.
However, that did not stop the confusion and the journalists' entry was short-lived. Per the publication:
"Journalists pushed and yelled at each other to move. After just a minute or two, Russian security pulled the red rope separating the media from the leaders to try to keep the media further away from the leaders. Russian security yelled at journalists to get out of the room and began pushing journalists."
The scene reportedly escalated into more chaos as U.S. journalists clashed with Russian security. Unphased by the chaos, President Biden appeared amused. While the chaos ensued, Biden "leaned over and spoke to the interpreter and smiled."
However, the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki offered clarity about the moment as she explained the president's action.
"During a chaotic free for all with members of the press shouting questions over each other, the President gave a general head nod in the direction of the media. He wasn't responding to any question or anything other than the chaos."
The two presidents met for an hour and are expected to hold their own individual press conferences.
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