Late Sunday, the White House said that the United President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin settled to French-brokered summit dialogs “in principle” as long as Moscow doesn’t attack Ukraine. According to Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the meeting would occur after Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, and Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia, meet on 24th February.
On Sunday night, Psaki stated that the U.S. is always ready for diplomatic talks. However, the Biden government is ready to slap swift and severe economic sanctions if Moscow chooses war instead of negotiations. Psaki said that at present, Russia appears to be continuing planning for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine very soon. According to an Élysée Palace statement, Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, proposed the summit during telephonic conversations with Presidents Biden and Putin.
Joe Biden, the United States President, and Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, agreed to “the principle” to meet for talks to discuss strategic stability and security in Europe, but this will only happen if Russia doesn’t attack Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/P9ghP0rnCO
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) February 21, 2022
French president emerged as a diplomatic mediator between the two leaders as the crisis in Europe unfolded. Earlier this month, Macron met Putin in Moscow and communicated with him on phone call twice on Sunday. In addition, French officials said that his efforts at negotiation reflect a desire to discover every available way that avoids conflict. The statement from the French president said a consequent discussion of relevant stakeholders would follow the meeting to discuss strategic stability and security in Europe.
Biden is Ready to Engage Putin in any Format
American officials consistently said that President Biden is ready to engage with his Russian counterpart, even as he prepares severe economic consequences should another Russian attack of Ukraine transpire. Blinken noted on the State of the Union show on CNN that the U.S. president is willing to engage Putin at any time, in any format, to prevent the likely war.
Jen Psaki said that Biden is willing to pursue diplomacy until an attack starts. President Biden repetitively clarifies that the U.S. agrees to pursue diplomacy until the Russian attack begins. Foreign Minister Lavrov and Secretary Blinken are scheduled to meet this week for diplomatic talks, provided Moscow doesn’t proceed with an invasion.
On the other hand, Russia denies any plans to attack. Still, concerns were further distressed when the defense ministry of Belarus announced that Moscow would extend military exercises in Belarus that were due to end on 20th February. In addition, Maxar, an American-based satellite imagery company, reported several new deployments of Russian armed units in farms, forests, and industrial areas as small as around fifteen kilometers from the Ukrainian border.