Visiting Europe, Biden Hopes to Meet Putin
Windowofworld.com – President of the United States (US) Joe Biden expressed his hope to meet with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, during his visit to Europe in June. This is a high-stakes diplomatic meeting which he hopes will restore increasingly tense relations between the two countries.
“We are working on it,” said Biden at the White House as quoted by CNN, Wednesday (5/5/2021).
His remarks answered questions about whether he planned to meet Putin during his upcoming trip. Biden is scheduled to attend the Group 7 Summit in the UK and the NATO and European Union summits in Brussels, Belgium. The summit runs from June 11 to June 14.
Biden’s remarks suggest that his proposed summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin could take place as early as the middle of next month, when he will be in Europe to restore trans-Atlantic relations on his first overseas trip as President.
Officials signaled that Biden’s meeting with Putin was likely to occur after his meeting with his European counterparts because he appreciated consulting Western leaders before sitting down with the Russian president.
Symbolically, it is unlikely that Biden will undertake his first diplomatic engagement outside the United States with Putin.
Where the conversation takes place remains an open question. The leaders of Austria, Finland and the Czech Republic have offered their capitals as potential sites. White House officials have said the meeting will take place somewhere in Europe.
Biden originally proposed a summit with Putin last month during telephone talks, and the two sides have been working to finalize the plan in detail since then. Although relations between the two countries have deteriorated due to issues such as Ukraine and election interference, Biden hopes to establish clear channels of communication that will avoid any unnecessary incidents.
Putin appears to have accepted the offer, even after the United States imposed harsh new and other punishments against Russia, among other things, for its role in massive cyber attacks on government agencies.