President Biden’s high-stakes summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin wrapped up earlier than anticipated — with American reporters left in the dark and initially dependent on Russia’s foreign ministry for information on the discussions.
The talks ended at 5:05 pm local time after an introductory sit down at 1:39 pm — meaning that the entire summit lasted fewer than 4 hours, rather than the 4-5 hours predicted by the White House.
What happened inside a set of two meetings was not immediately clear. Press was not allowed in the room, though Russia’s foreign ministry tweeted a photo giving journalists a glimpse of US and Russian officials attending the second, larger meeting.
Biden’s inaugural trip abroad to three European countries has seen severe limits on press access.
On Monday, the White House scrapped a similar “pool spray” at the start of Biden’s meeting with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the NATO summit in Belgium. Frustrated US reporters, waiting in a hallway for 112 minutes, were left dependent on Turkey’s government, which regularly imprisons journalists, for information.