Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman breaks down what President Biden will most likely tell Russian President Vladimir Putin about ransomware attacks in their first high-stakes summit meeting.
- Let's talk about another high stakes meeting that is happening today-- that between Biden and Putin. Our Rick Newman has been watching that meeting-- and some of the early pictures, as you can see here, that we have been getting from it. What do you think is going to be sort of the biggest challenge for Biden in this meeting, Rick?
RICK NEWMAN: Getting anything done. And the thing that I think our audience is focusing on most is this surge in ransomware attacks emanating from Russia. For the first time, the White House has indicated this is going to be one of the top three agenda items-- trying to indicate to Putin how serious the United States takes these attacks on companies like Colonial Pipeline, which shut down that gasoline pipeline, the meatpacker JBS. I mean, every day it seems like there are a couple of these hacks with companies paying ransom to these hackers to unlock their computer systems.
So a lot of these groups operate with impunity in Russia. They have a safe haven there. And Biden is going to say, hey man, we need you guys to knock this off, because this is becoming a real problem that we take very seriously. Putin has dismissed all of these concerns. He has said, look, first of all, I don't know anything about these hacks. And if they're happening in Russia, nobody is breaking Russian laws. But clearly Putin could do something about these hackers if he wanted to. The trick is getting him to actually do something about it.
- You know, Rick, a theme of the G7 meeting last weekend-- thought last week and through the weekend-- is that Biden was out there resetting the way the world saw the US government. Things are different as it relates to US-Russia relations, specifically the Putin and Trump relationship. Like, I mean, how does Biden even approach this? And I guess the question is were things actually good between the US and Russia when Trump was president? Or did it just seem that way for all these reasons, some of which might have been true, but others which were just kind of-- I don't know-- a fantasy of sorts about how exactly Trump became president?
RICK NEWMAN: Yeah. I mean, Donald Trump clearly admired Vladimir Putin. And that meeting and that joint press appearance between Putin and Trump in Helsinki, Finland in 2018-- that was one of the most aberrant bits of behavior by a US President in recent history, where Trump basically said I agree with Putin, there was no Russian interference in the 2016 election. And he agreed with Putin while disagreeing with US intelligence. I mean, Biden is going to be diametrically different from that clearly. And he's going to be more traditional. I mean, we do have basically a terrible relationship with Russia these days.
There are lots of issues. And Biden has indicated he's going to be confrontational toward Putin. I mean, earlier this year he called Putin a killer. That's the word Biden used. So this is a frosty relationship between Biden and Putin. And we'll get you know a little bit more of a feel for how this actually went when these two leaders both give a press conference later today. And unlike Trump in 2018, they are not giving a joint press conference. Putin's going to talk first, I think. And then Biden is going to talk on his own. So it's going to be very different theatrics than we saw a few years ago.
- Yes, theatrics is a good way to describe it. But it should be quite interesting all the same. Thanks, Rick, appreciate it.
RICK NEWMAN: Bye guys.