Putin and Biden Agree ‘in Principle’ to Summit After Macron Calls

Photo credit: nytimespost.com

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed “in principle” to hold a bilateral summit followed by a diplomatic meeting of all relevant parties on the ongoing security situation in Europe, as long as Russia refrains from invading Ukraine. 

The announcement came after both leaders had spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday evening. Macron spoke with Putin twice on Sunday, with the first chat lasting for close to two hours and the second lasting an additional hour. Macron and Biden’s conversation was much quicker, lasting for about 15 minutes. 

But the Kremlin has said that there are not any concrete plans yet for a summit between Biden and Putin. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not flat out rule out the possibility of a meeting between the two presidents but said an announcement of the summit was premature. 

In a readout of the phone calls between Macron and each leader, the Elysée said Macron proposed the summit between Biden and Putin, and then for a meeting with all parties, to discuss security and strategic stability in Europe. 

Following news that there could be a summit between Biden and Putin, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that tensions were rising but diplomatic contacts were active, however, an announcement of a summit is premature. Peskov said that the two leaders could arrange for a call or a meeting at any time, but there were not yet any concrete plans. 

It comes as Western leaders attempt to de-escalate the Ukraine-Russia crisis. There are between 100,000 and 150,000 Russian troops currently at the Ukraine border, and the West fears an imminent Russian invasion. 

The U.S.-Russian meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is to be held on Thursday. 

It would be after the Blinken-Lavrov meeting that a potential Biden-Putin summit would take place, also as long as Russia has not yet invaded Ukraine. 

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