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Swiss detail extra security measures for Biden-Putin summit

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss authorities will temporarily restrict airspace over the city of Geneva and deploy up to 1,000 troops to the area to help reinforce security measures for the summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden next week.

Switzerland’s seven-member executive body, the Federal Council, on Friday approved the temporary measures that will include air policing and airspace surveillance by the Swiss air force during Wednesday’s summit.

“Switzerland is obliged to ensure the protection of persons who enjoy special protection under international law, such as the American and Russian heads of state,” the Swiss federal defense department said in a statement.

It said commercial flights to and from Geneva’s airport would not be affected by the restriction that runs from 8 a.m. Tuesday to 5 p.m. Thursday.

The extra deployment of troops will have roles in the protection of foreign emissaries and support for Geneva regional police in the air and on Lake Geneva.

Local authorities announced Thursday that the summit, part of Biden’s first overseas trip as president, will take place in an 18th-century manor house in a public park that looks out onto the lake.

The White House has played down expectations for the summit and said Biden plans to raise issues including Ukraine, arms control, human rights and cyber ransomware attacks. Russian officials have said their agenda will include issues like strategic stability, global crises, climate change and efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
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