Biden-Putin summit begins

At stake is a potential prisoner swap, as a former U.S. Marine imprisoned in Russia pleads for help from Biden. ABC News’ Ike Ejiochi and Karen Travers report.
5:08 | 06/16/21

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Transcript for Biden-Putin summit begins
We begin with breaking news just is that crucial Biden Putin summit is about to begin in Geneva. A former US marine imprisoned in Russia has released a new message overnight from behind bars pleading with president Biden to help secure his release the cases among many contentious topics on the agenda today as Biden sits down with Vladimir Putin. In citing eighteenth century Swiss Villa. ABC's Karen Travers is in Geneva for the summit but we begin with I could jockey in Washington DC following that breaking news overnight hike good morning. Good morning and you president Biden quit says he plans to take a tough line with prudent but critics say he's already given Colin what he wants the summit itself. President Biden comes face to face with Russian president Vladimir Putin this morning. The meeting expected to last up to five hours and no meals will be served. As one senior administrative official told reporters there will be no breaking of Brett. I'm going to make clear to President Putin. That. There are areas where we can cooperate. Should he choose. The meeting will be split into two sessions first only president Biden and Putin along with secretary of state anti blink in and his Russian counterpart. Then senior aides will be brought in for the second session. On the agenda Russia's election Natalie. Human rights in recent cyber attacks also at stake talk of a potential prisoner swap to former US Marines are being held captive by the Kremlin. While two prisoners with suspected ties to Russian intelligence are being held by the US. Overnight the family of one of those former US Marines Trevor Reid released an audio message in which read please with president Biden to help free him. Okay relative to act and level of service my country and I appreciate the macro picture would talk to a com that's critical to sort situation back to back them like. President Biden has been preparing for this summit for weeks among those briefing the president is Russia expert Fiona hill. Who served in the trump administration and testified during the impeachment trial she was in the room in Helsinki in 2018 when president trump publicly sided with Putin. Over the US intelligence community when he came to Russian election metal. He just said it's not Russian. I will say this I don't see any reason why it would be. Last night Gil said during that moment in 2018 she was so concerned she looked for a fire alarm to pull. Even debated faking a medical emergency. I just thought let's just cut the salt let's try to London but it doesn't couldn't come up with anything that just footloose odd to the terrible spectacle. Now after the summit today prudent whoa hold his news conference first then president Biden will hold his meeting he gets the final ward. Advisors urged by that not to hold a joint news conference but the one trump holding twenty ET Andrew. I thank you and let's turn now to Karen Travers he's in Geneva with the president. Garrett what do you make of Trevor Reid's new message overnight appealing for president Biden to make a prisoner swap during the summit today. Andrew that recording was the second one released ahead of president Biden summit of Vladimir Putin called whaling is another American who is in rushing custody. He's serving a sixteen year sentence for espionage he insists he's in the sent. His family released an audio recording where he was begging the president to get him out how this be a part of the conversation with Vladimir prudent. Andrew the secretary of state Antonin Lincoln said this week that the president would raise the cases of Reid and wailing when he sits down with Vladimir Putin's. But remember just a couple days ago when the president was asked about a potential prisoner swap and he's signaled he would support that he would agree with president written on that. The White House very quickly walk that back to national security advisor said the president was talking about Russia holding cyber criminals accountable. Though injured they still say these two cases will be on the table today. And cared overall what do you think. President Biden wants from this summit in what is food and want it do you think there's any hope for some common ground here. Andrew the president has made it clear that he wants to set the US relationship back on a path forward. But he and written this week agreed that the relationship is at an all time low right now. For the president he is trying to get small concessions that he is not being Billy indicated in public. What he would like to see come out of this he's asked many questions this past couple of days. And he has said asked me after the meetings take place but as we heard there from I ate the president's going to be pushing on cyber security human rights election interference. And Ukraine. Now for president couldn't getting this summit just happen. Is an accomplishment in it of itself it's an achievement for the Russians he'll be sitting side by side with an American president this is the fifth American president. To have a meeting with Vladimir who wouldn't. Russia experts say that Vladimir Putin may suggest and may indicate that he won't change his behavior but he's looking for the Americans to stop giving lecture was about democracy and issues inside Russia. You know and and Europe I think both sides have really had very low expectations for this we'll see how they spin it in this press conferences. Peter Travers covering the summit for us there in Geneva live this morning Karen thank you.

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

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