Febraury 22, 2022
U.S. President Joe Biden has accepted “in principle” a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in what could represent a last-ditch effort at diplomacy over tensions surrounding Ukraine and a possible avenue to avert a looming invasion directed by Moscow, reports CNBC.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on Sunday evening, February 20, that the summit between the two world leaders would happen following a meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. That meeting is scheduled for later this week.
“As the President has repeatedly made clear, we are committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins,” Psaki said in a statement. “President Biden accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin following that engagement, again, if an invasion hasn’t happened. We are always ready for diplomacy.”
The Kremlin said on Monday, February 21, that there were currently no concrete plans for a meeting between Putin and Biden, according to Reuters.
News of a possible one-on-one between Biden and Putin comes as the White House warns that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could come at any time. Moscow has for weeks built up its military force on its ex-Soviet neighbor’s northern and eastern borders, with recent totals putting Russia’s force at about 190,000.
Research contact: @CNBC