The Kremlin’s top spokesman said Monday that President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are planning for a summit this summer to be held at an undetermined third country, meeting at a time when Moscow‘s relations with the U.S. and the West have badly deteriorated.
Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow that the two leaders intend to have their first face-to-face talks since Mr. Biden took office, the Russian TASS news agency said, although the exact date and location are still being worked out. Finland has hosted U.S.-Russian summits in the past, and Austrian officials have also said they would be willing to host a meeting.
“Certain proposals have been voiced, I cannot confirm the date yet,” Mr. Peskov said “… We are indeed talking about summer months, [but] many factors will still have to be analyzed to reach any final agreements,” he said.
Mr. Biden said he raised the prospect of a meeting in a call with Mr. Putin on April 13. U.S.-Russian relations have plunged over a series of issues, including Russian aggressiveness toward Ukraine, the massive SolarWinds computer hack that U.S. officials blame on Moscow, and the treatment of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
The Kremlin called its ambassador to Washington home to protest an interview Mr. Biden gave in late March in which the U.S. president endorsed a comment that Mr. Putin was a “killer.” U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan was recalled to Washington for “consultations” last week after the two countries engaged in a round of diplomatic expulsions related to U.S. sanctions over the SolarWinds incident.