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Putin and Biden could meet in June

The Russian presidents, Vladimir Putin, and the American presidents, Joe Biden, could meet “in June,” said a Kremlin adviser, Yuri Ushakov, on Sunday, stating that “specific dates” are being handled.

In mid-April, Biden proposed in a telephone conversation with Putin to meet this summer in a third country, with the aim of stabilizing relations between the two rival powers, which are at their lowest levels.

Although Moscow expressed interest in this proposal, it has been affected by sanctions and counter-sanctions exchanged between the two countries, and so far no decision has been announced regarding this possible summit.

“There are specific dates (…), I am not going to reveal them, but it will be in June,” Ushakov said during an interview with the Moscow-Kremlin-Putin broadcast on the public television station Rossia 1.

The US president plans to make his first trip abroad in mid-June, to the United Kingdom and then to Belgium, for the G7 and NATO summits and a meeting with the leaders of the European Union (EU).

According to a statement from the White House released on Friday, more details about this trip should be provided shortly, “in particular regarding possible complementary elements.”

This formulation immediately sparked speculation in Washington about a possible meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Finland and Austria have indicated their willingness to host.

Tensions between Moscow and Washington are at a fever pitch, be it due to disagreements over Ukraine, the situation of jailed Russian opponent Alexei Navalni, and accusations of espionage, electoral interference and cyber attacks blamed on Moscow.

The United States adopted new sanctions against Russia on Thursday, including the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats and restrictions on the purchase of Russian debt from US banks.

Russia responded by expelling ten US diplomats, threatening funds and NGOs financed by Washington on its territory, and by vetoing various members of the Biden government from traveling to their country.

The US ambassador, John Sullivan, returned to Washington this week for “consultations” in the context of these strong tensions.

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