USA News

Amid Black Sea U-turn, Biden says Putin summit likely this summer in Europe

President Biden on Thursday said that he intends to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit this summer in Europe.

Biden outlined his vision for US-Russia relations in a White House speech after he phoned Putin to discuss the expulsion of Russian diplomats and new sanctions in response to the SolarWinds hack and alleged Russian meddling in the 2020 election.

“I proposed that we meet in person this summer in Europe for a summit to address a range of issues facing both of our countries. Our teams are discussing that possibility right now,” Biden said.

“And out of that summit — were it to occur and I believe it will — the United States and Russia could launch a strategic stability dialogue to pursue cooperation in arms control and security. We can address critical global challenges that require Russia and the United States to work together, including reining in nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, ending this pandemic globally and meeting the existential crisis of climate change.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the Coordination Center of the Russian Government in Moscow, Russia on April 13, 2021.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the Coordination Center of the Russian Government in Moscow, Russia on April 13, 2021.
AP

Talk of the summit comes as Biden appeared to blink on his initial decision to send warships to the Black Sea over Russian aggression in Ukraine. Russia warned the US on Tuesday to stay away from the area “for their own good” after the Biden administration said it was going to send destroyers the USS Roosevelt and the USS Donald Cook.

After the warship U-turn, Putin said he would close the Kerch Strait beginning next week until October, blocking foreign warships that are conducting military exercises, including the US, the Ukraine foreign ministry said Thursday.

The summit might be Biden’s first international trip since taking office on Jan. 20.

Biden mentioned a range of alleged Russian misdeeds in his remarks — including an alleged buildup of troops on Ukraine’s border — but he said nothing about the possibility that Russia offered bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan.

Although Biden routinely attacked former President Donald Trump for not punishing Russia over the alleged bounties, the Biden administration on Thursday walked back the possibility that Russia offered bounties to kill Americans, saying there was only low to moderate confidence in that possibility.

Biden said in his White House remarks that the US and Russia are “two great powers with significant responsibility for global stability”

“When I spoke to President Putin, I expressed my belief that communication between the two of us personally and directly was to be essential and moving forward to a more effective relationship. And he agreed on that point,” Biden said.

Biden said in a recent ABC News interview that he regarded Putin as a “killer” and claimed that he once told the Russian leader to his face that he lacks a soul.

“I said [to Putin], ‘I looked through your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul’,” Biden told ABC News. Putin allegedly looked back and replied, “We understand each other.”

Last month Putin responded to Biden’s “killer” jab by saying, “it takes one to know one.”

A summit with Putin would carry political risk for Biden. Trump met privately with Putin in 2018 before addressing the press in Helsinki, Finland. Trump was forced into damage control after widespread criticism of his remarks appearing to accept Putin’s denial of hacking Democrats in 2016. Trump said he misspoke.

File source

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close