The White House and Kremlin are actively discussing a potential summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden, with summer looking like the most likely time for a face-to-face meeting.
That’s according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said that the exact date and location are still to be determined.
Two weeks ago, following a phone call between Putin and Biden, it was revealed that the US president had proposed a formal meeting in “a third country.” Some have suggested that the most logical time for the rendezvous is June, following a summit of the Group of Seven in the United Kingdom, set for June 11-13. After the G7, Biden is due to travel to Brussels to attend a NATO conference on June 14.
“Indeed, certain proposals have been voiced, but I cannot yet confirm the dates,” Peskov told the media on Monday. “There are still many different factors to be analyzed in order to come to a final agreement.”
The Kremlin spokesman also clarified that there had been no decision on the location of the summit. Since the proposal, a few countries have thrown their hat in the ring. The first to offer its services was Austria, with the foreign ministry saying that the country is “always available for high-level negotiations of any kind.” Vienna has previously hosted many meetings between Moscow and Washington, and is commonly the venue for arms-control discussions. In June 1961, US President John F Kennedy famously met with his Soviet counterpart Nikita Khrushchev in the Austrian capital.
Finland has also offered to host.
Putin’s apparent willingness to meet with Biden comes despite brand-new sanctions imposed on Moscow by Washington. Earlier this month, Peskov noted that hostile measures of this nature aren’t conducive to a constructive future relationship.
“Whether these things hinder [the proposal] or not, that will be a decision for the presidents. There was a proposal from the President of the United States, and then it will be a subject for a decision by the President of Russia,” Peskov explained.
In recent weeks, the relationship between Moscow and Washington has become even more strained. On April 15, Biden signed an executive order imposing further sanctions against Russia. Targeting more than 30 individuals and organizations, the measures are said to be punishment for alleged interference in the US presidential election, as well as for the infamous SolarWinds cyber-espionage case, which Washington says was ordered by the Russian government. Biden also announced the expulsion of ten personnel from the Russian diplomatic mission.
In response, Moscow sent 10 US diplomats back home to Washington.
Credit: RT News