U.S. President Joe Biden says he expects to be able to meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, this summer.
He announced this at the White House on May 7, 2021, when reporters asked whether the meeting is scheduled for June.
"I'm confident we'll be able to do it. We don't have any specific time or place. That's being worked on," he said.
According to Biden, the recent build-up of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine does not affect his plans to meet Putin in the near future. "It does not impact my desire to have a one-on-one meeting [with Putin] and, you notice, he had more troops before. He's withdrawn troops," he said.
"There's still troops amassed, but significantly less than he had a month ago," he added.
Earlier, Washington accused Moscow of building up its military presence on the southern borders and escalating the situation in Donbas. According to U.S. estimates, over 100,000 Russian troops were deployed in the middle of April 2021 on the border with Ukraine and in Russia-occupied Crimea.
Probable meeting of Biden and Putin
- Joe Biden offered to meet when having a phone call with Vladimir Putin in the middle of April 2021.
- No exact dates were mentioned. The White House administration proposed a third country as a venue for the meeting. The Austrian authorities proposed Vienna could host the two presidents' meeting.
- The Kremlin said there was no official response concerning the meeting, and Moscow was studying the offer.