Moscow and Washington have started preparations for a virtual new meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his United States counterpart Joe Biden, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov confirmed to journalists on Friday.
The Kremlin official added that the exact date and number of officials that will attend the summit are yet to be determined. The summit follows an in-person summit between the two leaders in Switzerland in June.
“All these nuances still need to be confirmed,” TASS quoted Peskov as saying. According to Putin’s press secretary, both sides have various proposals on the date of the talks, including on December 7, “but they have not yet been synchronized.” Thus, he declined to specify during which week these talks could be expected, noting that they may take place “at any moment.”
Moscow previously expressed hopes the meeting will take place before the end of 2021.
Earlier this week, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergey Ryabkov stated that preparation for a summit between Putin and Biden was at an “advanced stage” but that the discussions would most likely not take place in person.
The news also came as the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov made no apparent progress in Stockholm-where an OSCE ministerial meeting took place on Dec.2 & 3, -towards defusing a standoff over Ukraine.
In a statement following the talks between the two top diplomats, Russia’s foreign ministry said Moscow will take “retaliatory measures” if its interests were ignored.
“Ignoring Russia’s legitimate concerns, Ukraine’s involvement in US geopolitical games amid the deployment of Nato forces near our borders, will have the most serious consequences, and will force Moscow to take retaliatory measures to level the military and strategic balance,” the ministry wrote.
For Washington’s part Blinken repeated the US warning about “serious consequences for Russian aggression toward Ukraine, including high-impact economic measures that we’ve refrained from taking in the past”.
U.S. officials are increasingly anxious about Russian military movements close to Ukraine’s border. Meanwhile, Moscow is complaining about NATO countries who deploy weapons or soldiers to Ukraine and the expansion of NATO and military infrastructure, missile defense systems, that are positioned in Poland and Romania.
The whole world is watching holding its breath.
Kremlin confirms Dec. 7 as date for Putin-Biden talks
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden will have an online meeting on December 7. The two leaders will discuss tensions over Ukraine, NATO’s expansion towards the Russian borders and the Russian President’s initiative for security guarantees, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Monday (Dec. 6). Peskov added the Kremlin’s press-service would publish a news release following the talks.
Putin-Biden online meeting begins
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden started a bilateral online meeting earlier today. Biden was the first to talk, noting that he was happy to see his Russian counterpart again and regretting that the two leaders weren’t able to meet up at the Group of 20 meeting this year.
“I hope next time we meet we do it in person,” TASS quoted Biden said with Putin responding in the affirmative. The talks then continued behind closed doors. No press conference was announced for either head of state.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted, the conversation will last “as long as it takes”, adding that conversations like this do not have a precise timing.
Putin, Biden discuss Ukraine, security, diplomacy
The talks between the presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden lasted two hours. The two leaders agreed about ‘detailed consultations’ on sensitive security issues, the Kremlin press service said. The Ukrainian crisis dominated the talks.
“Biden voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made clear that the US and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation,” the White House stated.
Putin warned Biden against what he described as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) dangerous attempts to conquer Ukrainian territory, the Kremlin stated.
The presidents also discussed the implementation of the Geneva summit decisions, the dialogue on cybersecurity and bilateral issues, including the functioning of diplomatic missions.
The Kremlin also asserted the two presidents agreed to continue their dialogue “given their special responsibility for maintaining international security and stability.”
With reporting by TASS, Foreign Policy