15:11 GMT18 May 2021
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    On Tuesday, the US and Russian presidents spoke on the phone about a variety of topics, including "the intent of the US and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue" on a variety of issues, and Biden suggested a bilateral meeting in person in the coming months.

    US President Joe Biden invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to meet "in the coming weeks," the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Wednesday.

    Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Blinken said the US would prefer a stable and predictable relationship with Russia. According to him, this would require certain lines of communication to exchange views on a wide range of issues.

    "We would prefer a stable and predictable relationship with Russia, and that, in turn, requires open lines of communication," Blinken said. "And that's exactly what you saw yesterday with President Biden picking up the phone to call President Putin and also proposing that they meet in the weeks ahead."

    Also on Wednesday, during the daily briefing White House spokesperson Jen Psaki reiterated Washington's commitment to seek a predictable and stable relationship with Russia and added that the US will pursue that goal during the future Biden-Putin summit.

    "Our objective as the United States is to have a predictable relationship with Russia, to stabilize that relationship and certainly having a discussion, having a summit would be an opportunity to discuss areas where we agree and can work together whether it is continuation of non-proliferation efforts, obviously they [Russia] are partnering in P5+ [1] and those could be part of the forum for our discussion," Psaki said.

    No One Is Rushing in Arranging the Meeting

    In his turn, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said no one will be rushing to work out a meeting, adding that the crucial thing is that this US initiative correlates with real efforts.

    "No, no one will be in a hurry, it will be important that such an initiative and words about the need for dialogue correlate with real actions," Peskov told the Rossiya One broadcaster.

    The Kremlin spokesman, when asked what will happen if the US adopts new sanctions against Russia, replied "then, to a lesser extent, words will be correlated with actions."

    In a phone conversation, Biden suggested holding a meeting on the territory of a third country. At the moment, neither Washington nor Moscow have specified where this meeting could take place.

    In accordance with the White House statement on Tuesday, Putin and Biden "discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty."

    Tensions between the US and Russia persist over several factors, including accusations by the US of alleged Russian interference in the past presidential election and imposing sanctions on Russian officials and companies in connection with the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who became ill on a domestic flight in Russia and had to be moved to Berlin's Charite Hospital for care.

    Also, in a March interview with ABC, Biden said that Putin will have to "pay a price" for suspected meddling in the 2020 US presidential election, and that he considers Putin a "killer," when he was asked so. In reply to that, Putin wished the US president "good health," emphasizing that he was not kidding or sarcastic in that respect, and said that Biden's remarks about him stem from a general tendency for people to project their own feelings for themselves onto others.


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