Nuclear arms control key topic in Biden-Putin summit

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., discusses the importance of arms control and cybersecurity in the high-stakes meeting.
11:04 | 06/16/21

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Transcript for Nuclear arms control key topic in Biden-Putin summit
And with the expanded meeting between president Biden and president prudent now all work we. No there's a number of high stakes issues on the agenda today including cyber attacks military threats and human rights concerns but it'd also be some room. For agreement this is something that the president said going into this that he was hoping to find issues like climate change perhaps. So joining me now for more on all this congressman Gerry Connolly the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee. It's here he's also a president of the legislative arm of NATO and a former Biden staffer when Biden with senator with the foreign affairs committee congressman Connolly thanks again. For being on with us. So this first time this you know and summits between Russian leaders in US leaders are not new but this the first time that we've really seen. Cyber security at the heart of these talks so. How CUS supposed to get anywhere on that issue if President Clinton. Refuses to acknowledge that Russia is involved in these cyber attacks to begin with we already heard Russian president Vladimir Putin's saying. That that's nonsense so how does Joseph Biden worked with. Well the fact that Clinton wants to do. I reality is not a new phenomenon remember he denied that there were a little green troops. Russian troops. Enjoyed oh Moldova or eastern Ukraine. That has not stopped the west and our alliance. From imposing severe sanctions because of that O line activity. So that doesn't stop as I really do is think it every step back. One of the cheat goals of president Biden. Is to reset. Boundaries. Donald Trump had no boundaries at all apparently Russian maligned behavior. Yo Joseph Biden's job is to reset those boundaries and be very clear that there are penalties and consequences. Putin is at the end of the day. How far can I go. And what must I do this aura pull back. And CIBER is gonna be one of them NATO has said. Cyber is increasingly going to be treated. Like territorial and currently. There are pop up the NATO chartered acts are really momentous kind of statement. That puts food on the spot. And it's it's a lack of coal. Assertion on his part that he is knowing about it has nothing to do that. Of course he dons. And and I think he asked understand that the stakes get higher and higher AM. In ignoring them. Out activity from his territory. So like I do think that Biden's chief mission a year and a lot of fronts is to reset honorees are black recruit. So what would you count as a win here in terms of a dress saying. That cyber threat that Russia poses. Well it's a great when would be to get. Vladimir Putin does say yeah now that you mention it yeah things are going on from our territory and I got to stop to a you can even. You can even monitor that. That's not gonna happen. Remember this is the first me. This is Joseph Biden and Vladimir Putin's taking assessment of each other. Now that they are each the heads. Of their own governments. And remember this deal will her a lot of people talk about this is not Vladimir Putin's first rodeo remember it's not Joseph Biden's first rodeo either. He's got a lot of rare boot the fact he. Russia malign activity in Russia in dated. Calcium and a sense yet in Georgia. That was the tipping point for Barack Obama did decide to Joseph Biden as his running mate. Back in. 2000 and any so. Joseph Biden is highly sensitive to Putin's go bad activities and bad behavior. And understands that his career. Has been Shay I that. His response to those. Bad behaviors. In many ways to finds Kim and his presidency now. Now election interference is expected to be another big issue and and this was actually front and center in the last. Presidential summit as well at that time when he eighteen in Helsinki president trump actually stated. At a joint news conference that he didn't see any reason that Russia would be responsible here essentially sided. With Vladimir Putin's denial over at the findings of US intelligence agencies that Russia was involved so. How do you expect president Biden to address that issue today. Well I'm. I think it's like damn. I should be should not be adding. Any kind of summit with Vladimir wouldn't because it on him cars lottery and are currently Myra Republican colleagues are suffering mass amnesia. Maybe the single most disastrous press conference ever held by any. Was. Other than their own Donald Trump in Helsinki after having had a summit with Latimer couldn't Wear as you said. You know Donald Trump shamelessly. Sided with Vladimir who. Over US intelligence agencies about a deterrence in the 2060 election. And of course. Enables. Power crazed. Lot of reboot and got off the hook on a lot of things. And basically. Presided over an administration they had all kinds a contacts with. As documented in the Robert. Muller reports are so light and come back that now how does Biden now try to. Well it Bristol I think. Lot of ripple Wednesday as this news sure and tarnish and that share is not gonna wink and blink and violations of international law. All our normal arms. Odd that this share is going to insist. As I said earlier is setting very strong clearly defined boundaries. And that there will be penalties. Imposed at those voters are expected. It's a whole new ball game. It's which my metaphors for Vladimir Putin and he needs to take congress' of that. We allow all the metaphors here all the metaphors but thank you. But I ask you is Derek personal element to this Steve think given that the Russian propaganda was aimed at keeping bite in out of office. Yeah. Think that's probably true. But I. Joseph Biden is steeped in foreign policy already spent fifty years. In foreign policy as chairman of the senate correlates his committee's chairman of the European affairs subcommittee. As vice president not president. That is his Forte is his law. And so he understands he's got a moment in time to try to reset. The boundaries and the relationship. With Russia. Find common ground when you can yes but also really make it very clear to the adversary. That. There are things up with who which we will not put op and that there will be consequences a lot from that so I think they like this he's with a mission. And I think he's up to this this mission. And you mention common ground that is something that Joseph Biden said he was hoping to find with Vladimir Putin during this summit where some of the areas where you think they can come together. Well you want it hasn't been messes up our and that's the Iran nuclear agreement right. Of the United States. An after after trying to recover from Trump's disastrous. Unilateral pullout. I'll a nuclear agreement that was in full compliance. Op. Russia is one of the five parties to that agreement and so having Russian cooperation. In. Recent thing. And re establishing the nuclear agree with Iran. Is a common goal we share and so that's an area. Out very critical area where I think we could cooperate. You mentioned earlier of course the environment and climate change Russia is a party to the Paris clinic court which again dropped disastrously unilaterally pull us out. And president Biden has put us back in so this cooperative opportunities there and then of course space. You know we are cooperating and half court operated for years it's based in running the International Space Station. But also cooperating is. Isn't. Other space endeavors so that there are a lot of scientific endeavors. Where we incorporate and I think they could be expanded on the question. So would you like to see a prisoner swap today to secure the release of the Americans ever read in Paul Whelan. I would. I think from a humanitarian point of view that would be that would not a gesture. But remember what went out we're seeing president Biden right now leaving Libya LeBron is getting in his car up presumably heading to a holding area now. Where he will then prepare for his press conference as we wait to hear from the president on how he thinks this summit when today. And again Joseph Biden there just getting into the car. And we expect to see the Russian president. Fairy soon as well. Congressman Connolly EU can go ahead I didn't mean to interrupt you but I just want to. Driving one's attention to the fact that we're now seeing president Biden leaving that summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin. And we certainly look forward to hearing both. Both perspectives on what happened. You asked about. What I like to see a prisoner swap yes I want you miniature Reese's and I. I would point out that that's not in the right ash so the united that the west and the united states of particular. Opt for horror. Good it's hard duration of the Cold War. Engaged in prisoner swap some of them public some of the private. Wouldn't that then Soviet Union so there's a long tradition of doing this. What we have to guard against though is rewarding bad egg here we don't want Russian get the idea that. They can arrest. Americans. Or others on their territory on trumped up charges know all those holding them hostage. And we are willing to exchange. You know guilty parties who have engaged in a really serious and bad behavior. Were willing to do that sort of unquestionably will not. I and I think you were pointing out the uneven nature of the charges involved here but having said all of that to see him in the cherish and aspect to this that we can't ignore that we care. All right congressman Gerry Connolly great to have you congressman thank you. Pleasure thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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