Kremlin says Biden-Putin summit contingent on US behavior

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The Kremlin on Wednesday said that any potential meeting between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin would be contingent on U.S. behavior after the White House floated a summit between the two leaders. 

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday that it was premature to discuss any logistics of a potential meeting, maintaining “no specifics” have been discussed for any summit.

“While it is too early to talk about the place and time, it still has to be coordinated through diplomatic channels, including further concrete actions,” Peskov said, according to Russia’s RIA news agency

“Of course, further elaboration of the proposal for a meeting in one of the European countries is possible only taking into account the analysis of the real situation and further steps of our counterparts,” he added.

The announcement comes after a call between Biden and Putin during which they discussed a range of issues, including Moscow’s military buildup along the border with Ukraine and cyber interference from Russia.

“President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with U.S. interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

Putin has defended Russia’s military ramp-up near Ukraine as a military drill in response to what Moscow says is a threatening posture from NATO, though officials worry it may be a pretext for another offensive after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. 

“The United States is increasingly concerned by recent escalating Russian aggressions in eastern Ukraine, including Russian troop movements on Ukraine’s border,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week. “Russia now has more troops on the border with Ukraine than at any time since 2014. Five Ukrainian soldiers have been killed this week alone. These are all deeply concerning signs.”

The call Tuesday was the second Biden has held with Putin since being inaugurated in January.

Tags Biden Foreign policy of the Joe Biden administration Foreign policy of Vladimir Putin Jen Psaki Joe Biden Russia Vladimir Putin

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