Biden has reportedly agreed to meet with Putin later this week, as long as Putin doesn’t go forward with his Ukrainian invasion plans:
CNN – President Joe Biden has agreed “in principle” to French-brokered summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin as long as Russia does not further invade Ukraine, the White House said late Sunday.
The meeting, according to press secretary Jen Psaki, would occur after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet on February 24.
Still, in a statement, Psaki appeared to downplay the prospects of a meeting actually materializing given what US officials have said the high likelihood is Putin could launch an invasion soon. And other US officials made clear no plans — either on timing, format or location — currently exist for the two leaders to meet.
“We are always ready for diplomacy. We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war. And currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon,” Psaki said in a statement on Sunday night.
The proposed summit, according to an Élysée Palace statement, was proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron during back-to-back phone calls with Biden and Putin on Sunday.
However, speaking to journalists on Monday morning, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said there were “no concrete plans” for a meeting between the two presidents.
“A substantive understanding has been reached that it is necessary to continue dialogue at the ministers’ level. It is too early to talk about concrete plans for organizing summits,” Peskov said, adding: “Of course, we do not rule out that, if necessary, the presidents of Russia and US can make a decision at any time to have contacts, by telephone or in person. It will be their decision.”
During the same call, Peskov announced that Putin would hold a large, previously unscheduled sitting of the Russian Security Council on Monday. The spokesperson said the meeting was “not regular” and refused to elaborate further on its agenda.
Biden meeting with Putin instills zero confidence in me, as I doubt Putin has much respect for Biden after his first year as president.
The only lingering question I have now is if Putin still intends to invade Ukraine, or if he’s going to use this potential invasion as a way to get what he wants in concessions from the world. Biden’s already shown himself to be a coward and a patsy, so Putin might have him right where he wants him.