Putin Biden

Biden-Putin summit would likely be held in June

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden may meet in June, RIA Novosti news agency reported on Sunday (April 26),  citing a senior Kremlin official.

“We will take a decision depending on many factors,” Yuri Ushakov the Russian ambassador to the United States from 1998 to 2008, was quoted as saying.

Separately, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, also cited by RIA, said on Sunday that Biden’s proposal for the summit has been received “positively” and is now under consideration.

In mid-April and in a call to discuss issues facing Washington and Moscow amid growing tensions in Ukraine, Biden proposed to the Russian leader that they hold a summit in a third country in the coming months.

The official readout of the phone conversation provided by the White House said Biden reaffirmed his goal of building “a stable and predictable relationship with Russia, consistent with US interests” when he suggested the meeting. The Kremlin confirmed that Biden has asked to hold a high-level meeting “in the foreseeable future”  and Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin would “take some time to analyse [Biden’s] proposal.”

The move came a month after the US President agreed, when asked in an interview if he agreed with the assessment that Putin was a “killer”, a comment that sparked outrage from the Kremlin and saw Moscow recalling its ambassador to Washington for consultations.

The two presidents held their first phone call in January amid tensions over the arrest of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Putin also agreed to attend and address a virtual climate summit hosted by US President Biden on Thursday.  Biden’s summit offer came just two days before the White House announced a new series of sanctions against Moscow.

The US leader, 78, who marks his first 100 days in office on Friday, will head to Europe for his first overseas trip as president and will attend the G7 summit in Cornwall, UK on June 11-13. Biden will then visit Brussels to attend the NATO Summit on June 14. While in the Belgian capital, he will also participate in a U.S.-EU summit, the White House said.

With reporting by RIA Novosti, AP