“I will meet with President Putin in a few weeks in Geneva, making it clear that we will not – we will not let him abuse these rights,” Biden said in a speech honoring Memorial Day, in which he noted that America was founded on the ideal that all men and women are created equal and declared that the United States has an obligation to speak out when it sees human rights violations.

The White House said last week that the first face-to-face meeting between Biden and Putin would take place in Geneva on June 16, with the two leaders planning to discuss a range of issues as the United States seeks to improve its relations with Russia. Biden has met Putin before during his tenure as vice president, including a meeting in 2011 where Biden said he looked Putin in the eye and said, “I don’t think you have a soul.”

Despite the deteriorating relationship between the two countries on issues like Ukraine and election interference, Biden hopes to establish a clear channel of communication that would avoid undue surprises.

In April, the Biden administration targeted Russia with sweeping sanctions and diplomatic expulsions, in part for the country’s “serious human rights violations” in Crimea.

The president also said he raised the human rights violations during an appeal with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“I had a long conversation, lasting two hours recently with President Xi, making it clear to him that there is nothing we can do but defend human rights in the world because that is what we are. “Biden said.

State Secretary Antony Blinken met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier this month in a meeting in which America’s top diplomat was also due to discuss human rights violations, according to three sources.

Blinken also spoke directly to a series of aggressive Russian activities, including the hacking of Solar Winds which targeted private companies and the government, election interference from Moscow, the unwarranted detention of US citizens in Russia, the detention of the activist from the opposition Alexey Navalny and the expulsion of each other. diplomats, the sources said.