Kremlin: No firm plans for summit with Biden
The Kremlin on Monday emphasized that no firm plans have been made for a summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, one day after French President Emmanuel Macron said the two leaders “accepted the principle” of a summit.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that while Biden and Putin can schedule a phone call or meeting at any time, there were no definite plans for a summit, according to Reuters.
Peskov’s comments came the day after Macron announced in a statement that Biden and Putin “accepted the principle” of a summit discussing “security and strategic stability in Europe,” as tensions grow amid reports of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Macron specified that the summit would only take place if Russia does not invade Ukraine, and said the substance of such an event would be determined by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who are scheduled to meet on Thursday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Sunday evening said Biden “accepted in principle” a meeting with Putin “if an invasion hasn’t happened.” She said the meeting would take place after Blinken and Lavrov’s meeting.
Psaki stressed that the U.S. is “always ready for diplomacy,” while “also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war.”
“And currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon,” she added.
Russia has amassed more than 150,000 troops across the Ukrainian border, stoking fears in the U.S. and among allied nations that Moscow is planning a military incursion. Russia, however, has denied having any plans.
Biden on Friday said he was “convinced” that Putin had “made the decision” to invade Ukraine.
Ukraine welcomed the idea of Biden and Putin taking part in a summit, but emphasized that Kyiv must be part of any discussions, Reuters noted.
“No one can resolve our issue without us,” Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine’s top security official, said.
“Everything should happen with our participation,” he reportedly added.
Peskov on Sunday also said Putin is planning to deliver remarks to an extraordinary session of Russia’s Security Council soon, according to Reuters.