U.S. President Joe Biden is nothing like his portrayal in the media, President Vladimir Putin said during a televised meeting Thursday.
Putin and Biden held their first summit since the U.S. president took office in Geneva on Wednesday in a bid to ease tensions between the two nuclear powers that had hit Cold War highs in recent months.
“The image of President Biden, which is portrayed by our, and even the American press, has nothing to do with reality,” Putin said.
Russian and U.S. media have given Biden, 78, a hard time for his occasional public slip-ups, most recently when he confused Putin with former U.S. President Donald Trump before correcting himself during his press conference that followed Wednesday’s summit.
Putin noted that despite his long overseas flight and possible jetlag, Biden was sharp and knew what he was talking about.
“Biden is a professional, you have to be very attentive when working with him so as not to miss something — because he does not miss a thing, trust me,” Putin added.
He added that Russia is willing to further its dialogue with the U.S. as long as Washington was also ready to do so.
"We are ready to continue this dialogue to the same extent as the American side is," Putin said.
While the summit was held behind closed doors, journalists and political analysts have honed in on everything from the two leaders’ body language to their fashion choices.
Both presidents agreed to return their respective ambassadors to Moscow and Washington after they were recalled earlier this year and to start working on cybersecurity cooperation but remained divided on issues like the treatment of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. The Kremlin also said there's “still no reason” to remove the U.S. from Russia's list of “unfriendly countries.”