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Putin doesn't want to host 'premature' diplomatic summit with Biden

Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has opted not to have an in-person meeting with President Joe Biden, the New York Post reported.

Russian leadership believes that it is too early for the two countries to hold a summit to discuss the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, said, “It’s premature to talk about any specific plans for organizing any kind of summits.”

He added, “There is an understanding that dialogue should be continued at the level of foreign ministers” and that there are “no concrete plans in place” for the two presidents to attend a summit together.

Peskov said that the two men can continue to discuss diplomacy over the phone or through other means but that an in-person meeting currently isn’t in the cards.

He said, “If necessary, of course, the Russian and American presidents can decide to hold a telephone call or connect via other methods. A meeting is possible if the heads of state consider it appropriate.”

On Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that President Biden had “accepted in principle” a meeting with his Russian counterpart.

She added that “We are always ready for diplomacy. We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war.”

U.S. officials previously suggested that a presidential summit would follow an upcoming meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The idea of a presidential summit has been championed by French officials and cautiously encouraged by the Ukrainian government as a way to deter a Russian invasion of Ukraine and avoid armed conflict.

Dmytro Kuleba, a Ukrainian foreign minister, said “We believe every effort aimed at a diplomatic solution is worth trying. We hope that the two presidents will walk out from the room with an agreement about Russia withdrawing its forces from Ukraine.”

On Friday, Biden said he was “convinced” that Russian leadership had decided to invade Ukraine.

Despite the imminent threat their country is facing, Ukrainian leadership hope to avoid armed conflict by bringing Putin to the table.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, said “I don’t know what the Russian Federation wants, so I am proposing a meeting” and “Ukraine will continue to follow only the diplomatic path for the sake of a peaceful settlement.”

On Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris attended the Munich Security Conference along with a dozen other leaders from Western nations.

Conference attendees were tasked with solidifying their commitments to deter Russia from invading Ukraine.

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