Geneva and London CNN  — 

Even before US President Joe Biden met with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, expectations were low.

Beyond some basic commitments on reinstating diplomats and agreeing to open “constructive” dialogue with the US on issues like cyber security and foreign policy, Putin gave no indication that the two leaders’ first face-to-face meeting on Wednesday had compelled a change of heart. No number of friendly words, it seems, will stop the Russian leader from continuing to forcefully pursue his political agenda both at home in Russia and abroad with near total impunity.

Despite saying at the top of his press conference that he didn’t think there was “any kind of hostility” between himself and Biden, Putin launched into a familiar diatribe of anti-US whataboutism to deflect criticism of the Russian Federation.