Relations between Russia and the United States have been tense recently, with the Biden administration expelling Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions over allegations of Moscow conducting cyberattacks and acting against US interests. Russia has consistently denied the claims, introducing reciprocal actions in response to Washington’s moves.
On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden, while speaking on coronavirus response and the state of vaccinations in the US, commented on the variety of issues, including his “hope” to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June during Biden’s trip to Europe.
“That is my hope and expectation. We are working on it,” Biden replied to reporters on Tuesday when asked if he is planning to meet Russia’s president during the European trip.
Earlier in April, Joe Biden suggested in telephone talks with his Russian counterpart that they meet in a third country to discuss bilateral relations between Washington and Moscow. National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Friday said that the proposed summit is in works for this summer.
“President Biden has indicated in his conversations with President Putin, and publicly, he believes that such a summit would be valuable in establishing better understandings between our two countries and the possibility of getting this relationship on a more stable, predictable path”, Sallivan said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov indicated that the summit initiative has been perceived positively, and Moscow is currently considering the aspects of the possible meeting between Putin and Biden.
Even though the Biden administration said it does not “seek to escalate with Russia”, the bilateral relations have been tense recently. The US expelled 10 Russian diplomats from America and imposed sanctions on 32 Russian entities and individuals, baselessly accusing Moscow of cyberattacks and hostile acts against US interests.
Russia has consistently denied the claims, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressing that Moscow has never been involved in cybercrimes and cyberterrorism.
In response, the Kremlin introduced reciprocal actions on the US Mission to Russia, expelling employees of US diplomatic missions “in numbers proportional to the actions taken by the US authorities against Russian diplomats.”