Inside Villa La Grange, the high-stakes summit has officially kicked off.
Speaking to reporters briefly at the top of their first closed-door sit-down, Putin said he hoped for a “productive” meeting, and Biden said “it is always good to meet face-to-face.”
While the scene was chaotic, both leaders looked comfortable. Biden, who was the first to extend his hand for a handshake earlier, sat with his legs crossed, hands in his lap and was seen smiling at several points. Putin also leaned back in his chair, as he often does.
Seated in a library before their respective country’s flag and with a globe in between, the pair were joined by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for the first small session of the day.