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Putin and Biden to hold virtual summit on Tuesday, Kremlin says

The presidents of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and USA, Joe Biden, will hold a telematics summit next Tuesday, the Kremlin reported today.

“It will be in the afternoon,” Dmitri Peskov, presidential spokesman, told local agencies.

The virtual conversation will take place after Putin proposed this week to NATO to sign a security pact to prevent Ukraine and Georgia from joining the Atlantic Alliance.

Putin, who met only once with Biden – last June during a summit in Geneva – specified that Russia needs “legal and binding security guarantees.”

He accused NATO of reneging on a promise not to expand into the former communist bloc in 1999 (Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic) and 2004 (Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia).

Biden expressed his interest in speaking at length by videoconference with the head of the Kremlin, whom the US and Ukraine accuse of preparing for an invasion of the neighboring country by concentrating between 90,000 and 100,000 troops on the border.

On Friday Biden announced that he is preparing “a series of measures” to defend Ukraine in case Putin decides to launch a military attack.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned this week that Washington and its allies would hit Moscow with heavy economic sanctions if it decides to attack Ukraine.

Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov confirmed on Friday that, in addition to the “unsatisfactory” state of bilateral relations and the implementation of the cybersecurity and strategic stability agreements reached in Geneva, both leaders will also address the international situation.

In particular, the current crisis in Ukraine, but also the situation in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, and the Iranian nuclear program.

This week in Stockholm the Ukrainian crisis was discussed in depth by Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who assured that Russia does not want a conflict.

In response to NATO not accepting Russia’s veto right for future entry into the bloc, Lavrov replied that Moscow has the right to choose the best way to defend its security in the face of an external threat.

Ukraine aspires to join NATO as the best defense mechanism against the threat of the Kremlin, which annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and openly supports the pro-Russian separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Meanwhile, the Russian leader maintains that one of the “red lines” for the Kremlin is precisely the deployment of Western offensive weapons on Ukrainian territory.



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